Thursday, December 31, 2015


 Sorry for the late post but on the last day of 2015, we finally got a bit of winter.

And our electricity went out for 15 straight hours.  Even the cold loving person that I am is frozen!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Pancake Breakfast

The Blog Tech and his fiance have been terribly busy.  They have so much planning to do and between the move and the holidays, they have constantly been on the go.  Yesterday I thought I would make them a nice breakfast before they started another busy day.
 I made buttermilk pancakes on the griddle.

 I served it on this large raven platter.  I love these dishes and have a whole set of them made by a local potter.

 I added locally raised and smoked bacon from our favorite smokehouse and locally made organic sage sausage.  I am thrilled to be able to have such wonderful food produced on farms within a 30 minute drive from home.  It seems each year more and more of these farms are selling what they grow and raise.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Tomato Onion and Butter Spaghetti and Caesar Salad

 This is why I made the meatballs I posted yesterday.  This is a really good spaghetti recipe.

  • 2 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes, prepared as described below, or 2 cups canned imported Italian tomatoes, cut up, with their juice.  I used tomato sauce I canned last summer.
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced thin 
  • 4 minced garlic cloves 
  • Salt to taste 
  • Place this in a heavy pot and bring to a slight boil and then turn down to simmer. Cook stirring occasionally until it thickens, about 1 hour.  Serve it over the pasta of your choice.
I made Caesar salads to serve along with the spaghetti.

  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed (or grated or mashed into a paste with a pinch of salt) 
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  •  4 teaspoons good balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped anchovies (or more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 head crisp romaine lettuce. I also used some leaf lettuce that came in my csa.
  •  Shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup  grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to taste
  • Salt, if needed, and lots of freshly ground pepper to serve
  1. Add garlic to a large salad bowl.
  2. Add olive oil and stir and let sit for a few minutes.
  3. Add vinegar, anchovy, Worcestershire, and lemon juice, and stir. If you'd like a thicker dressing, add half the Parmesan now. You can let this sit while you prepare the rest of your meal.
  4. Dip a lettuce leaf in to taste your dressing. If it doesn't taste fiercely of lemon juice, garlic, and anchovy, add more of those, to taste. The balsamic should not be pronounced.
  5. Just before serving, add lettuce and toss.
  6. Add Parmesan and freshly ground pepper before a final toss.
  7. Serve immediately.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Turkey and Lamb Meatballs

Using some of my canned and frozen tomato sauce from last summer, I made a wonderful spaghetti sauce this morning. As it simmered on the stove, I thought that I would like to make meatballs too but I had no ground beef.  What I found while digging through my freezer was ground turkey and ground lamb and so a new and very delicious meatball recipe was created.
 I grated 1 cup of my homemade sandwich bread into a bowl. Then added 1 T. of sun-dried tomato paste, 3 T. Italian seasoning, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, 1 small minced onion and 2 tsp. granulated garlic.

Then I added 1 large egg, 3 T. buttermilk, 1 pound ground turkey and about 1/2 pound of ground lamb.  Mix this thoroughly and cook a small piece to taste for seasoning.

Form into small balls and bake them in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

These are good served with spaghetti but they would make very good sandwiches too.

They freeze very well.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Teddy's Christmas

 Teddy gets very excited on Christmas morning which is not typical chow chow behavior.  She led the pack in to open the presents.

 She checks out Dada's stocking..there might be a bone in there somewhere.

 Then she planted herself and waited for the action to begin.

 She checks each present closely...there might be a bone somewhere.

 Finally...a bone!!!

 She immediately takes it outside to hide it but she won't do that until no one is watching.

 Go back inside Mama and unwrap more presents and leave me and my bone alone.

Teddy returns boneless and with a schmutzigen Gesicht (a dirty face).  Teddy speaks lots of German.  That bone has been buried somewhere and I can't find it.
 She patiently observes the present unwrapping.

 Until a pair of shoes catch her attention.

She sticks her paw in the box but they don't fit.
Then she dropped her newest toy on the coffee table for safe keeping.  It was a good Christmas.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Happy Boxing Day

 I hope you don't have too much to return.  I'm keeping everything I got.  I made raclette for brunch yesterday.

 Then I made an igloo cheese ball for The Blog Tech to take to a party he was going to.

And I made sole meuniere with French green beans and Israeli couscous for dinner.  It was a very good Christmas!  Did you have a good one?

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

Teddy wants to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!         
 She also wishes everyone some snow very soon, especially her mama.

 She is hoping that Santa brings her a bone.  Have a wonderful holiday!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Gingerbread Cakes

With two days to go before Christmas and still having baked no cookies, I thought I better bake something Christmasy to soothe the savage cookie beasts in my family.  I thought about what is the single flavor which I most associate with Christmas and hands down it is gingerbread.  So I made them gingerbread cakes.
 I have these small spring form pans which made cakes that were the perfect size.

 It is so freaking hot here that my cream cheese icing was melting so I had to place them in the fridge to firm up.

  My spearmint is still growing right next to where my daffodils are about to bloom.  Christmas daffodils!  I used the spearmint for the holly leaves.

And a few fresh cranberries for the berries.
A dense moist gingerbread cake with sweet, creamy frosting = Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Beef Bourguignon

The Blog Tech and his fiance' had a long day yesterday moving all of her stuff back home.  It was a dreary damp day so I wanted to make them some yummy comfort food.  There's nothing quite like a big bowl of beef bourguignon.
 Cut a 3-4 pound chuck roast into 1 inch cubes.  Place them on paper towels to dry them. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

 Pat them dry with more paper towels.  The beef will not brown if it isn't dry.

 Cook 1/2 pound of bacon in a heavy pot and leave the grease.  Add 3 tablespoons of oil to the bacon grease.

 Slice 4 onions and set them aside.

 Heat the oil to medium high and add cubes of the beef but do not crowd them. These have to brown on all sides.
 Remove the beef to the pan and continue to brown the rest in batches.

 Slice about 6 carrots into coins and set aside.

 Mix 6 minced garlic cloves with 1 tablespoon of sea salt and 3 anchovies. Set this aside.

 When you are done browning the beef, leave all of the drippings and browned bits in the pot and add the onions.

 Add the carrots and stir until they are covered with the oil.

 As they release moisture, they will pick up all of the bits stuck on the bottom of the pot.

 Add the beef and the bacon (mince it) back to the pot and sprinkle it with 2 tsp. of cracked black pepper.

 Sprinkle 5 tablespoons of flour on it and mix it in. Place the pot in the oven and cook it for 5 minutes.  Stir it and cook it for an additional 5 minutes.  Remove it from the oven and turn the oven down to 325 degrees.

 Add 4 tablespoons of tomato paste along with your garlic mix, 3 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary and 1 tablespoon of dried thyme.  Add 4 tablespoons of beef demi glaze.

 Add 3 cups of a hearty red wine.

 I used merlot and I used the whole bottle.

 Add 5 cups of beef broth.

 Stir this all together and put it back in the oven, covered and cook it for about 3 hours.  The stew should thicken and the meat should be very tender.

 I made  a loaf of rosemary bread and roasted garlic and rosemary compound butter to go with it.

I made mashed potatoes to go with it too.

Traditionally it is served with boiled potatoes or noodles.  We prefer mashed potatoes though.