Tonight’s dessert — apple cranberry walnut crisp.

Smells all Cajun up in here.

Child B and her fam are coming tonight for a small pre-Thanksgiving family get-together, and since I didn’t figure she wanted turkey and dressing two days in one week, I asked her if she wanted red  beans and rice.

“YES!” was her reply.

You know how you have that one dish that you can call a kid, tell them the name of the dish, a date and a time, and they’re there? That’s hers. For Child A, it’s zucchini fritters. Child C is pretty flexible. SIL 1 goes for mac and cheese, while for SIL 2, it’s either country fried steak or pot roast.

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Stew for a throng

November 14, 2018

Not vegetable soup, though it looks like it.

Had to feed a group of 20 or so the other night before a meeting at church. Didn’t have to be anything complex, so I figured soup and sandwich should do ’em.

And besides, I had leftover pulled pork barbecue, so I could make Brunswick Stew, which I dearly love but for some reason, don’t make that much any more. Good enough. We’d have Brunswick Stew.

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Y’all know it’s a real slippery slope. If you start thinking about cooking Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas can’t be far behind.

Help me, Jesus. I ain’t ready for this.

There are two separate and distinct cooking issues to be dealt with for Christmas. One is the Christmas treat baskets, a tradition my peeps have gotten spoiled to, and one I’m determined to continue. I’ll put some canned stuff in these, and I’m about of a mind I may try my hand at canning chicken liver pate and maybe pork rillettes, as well. I have a gracious plenty of pickles and jams and jellies, and I can fill in the gaps with cookies and candies. I will be adding these molasses spice cookies (because they are GOOD, y’all), and maybe coconut macaroons and fudgey oatmeal cookies and pralines and fudge to the mix. And spiced pecans, because those are always a hit, and maybe Chex mix, because that’s always a hit, too.

OK. Baskets, more or less planned. Then there’s Christmas dinner.

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Harvest thoughts

October 21, 2018

It’s a bit more than six weeks away, but  little nip in the air turns my thoughts to Thanksgiving.

Well, that, and the fact the Thanksgiving issue of Bon Appetit arrived yesterday. I may not always read Bon Appetit the day it gets here, but the Thanksgiving issue, I did. And I commenced to think.

Self and I do that, y’know. And we come up with some fine ideas from time to time.

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Leftovers driving dinner

October 20, 2018

Sometimes you just have to regretfully put aside the plans  for what you really wanted to make for dinner, and concentrate on something else that will get the damned leftovers out of the fridge.

What I WANTED last night was a big pot of carbonnades a la flamande. What I wound up with was a case of pragmatism being the better part of valor, and conserving food by using leftovers before they got old enough to vote.

I had made a bacon barbecue meatloaf the other night. Unlike my standard meat loaf, which ain’t half bad, this one leans in the direction of, well, barbecue, with a barbecue rub in place of the typical seasoning, barbecue sauce as a topping instead of ketchup, and a filling of bacon, and in this case, diced kielbasa.

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Protein and such

October 18, 2018

A collection of symptoms sent me to the doctor t’other day, where a blood panel revealed some imbalances (the peanut gallery will kindly shut up; I KNOW I’m unbalanced, thankyewverymuch). I went home with a new prescription, instruction to take vitamins and mineral supplements, and a directive to consume 80 grams of protein daily.

Do you know how much you have to eat to consume 80 grams of protein? You have to eat, or I do, until my ears are about to fall off, that’s how much. I have not eaten this much since I was pregnant. And that’s been a while (Child C just turned 29). So I have been playing with ways to get more protein into my diet.

This morning, I killed it with breakfast: a cup of kefir (11 grams of protein, plus good probiotics); two scoops of protein powder, which thickened it and made it act like yogurt (20 grams of protein) and a half-cup of high-protein granola clusters (another 11 grams). Take THAT, dietary guidelines! I got the protein problem licked today!

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Pimpin’ out the brownies

October 17, 2018

Pimped out brownies. Ain’t they pretty? They’re good, too. But cut them small; they’re rich.

People. If you want some brownies that will knock you plumb out, try these.

Disclaimer: I am not a true baker, other than having finally made a fair hand at baking bread. I don’t bake sweets more than once a month, and likely no more than once a quarter, until you get toward holiday season. 

But I was cooking dinner for a meeting at church, and I wanted to have a casual dessert, and brownies were easy and quick and I was running short on time. So — brownies.

As you all know, I follow eGullet.org, a cooking forum that includes a collection of recipes (it’s free, and I highly encourage you to do so; I’ve learned a ton on there). One of the frequent posters has posted this recipe for brownies, and testified they were luxurious and chewy and fudgey.

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