The Dutch baby, in all its simple glory.

Have y’all MISSED me? Do I have any faithful blog followers out there for a relatively faithless bloggess?

In my defense, I have been sick, rallied by main force of will enough to go out of town for my high school class reunion (which was a ton of fun), came home, got sick again and/or relapsed, gave up and went to the doctor, got on a ton of meds, and did not wish to eat for several days. And when I did, it was junk food or cereal. Read the rest of this entry »

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Leftover ham

May 23, 2018

Lunches and dinners in the making

I baked three spiral sliced hams from Aldi last week to take to the soup kitchen. Cut them off the bone and stashed the slices in a big foil roaster to take to the church, and tossed the bones and scraps in the fridge in baggies to deal with later.

Monday was “later.”

I got them out, cut the big chunks of meat the slicer didn’t get to off the bones, and put the bones back in the freezer against pots of beans next fall and winter. The meat got cut up in sizeable chunks, the fat mostly picked out, and ground in the food processor, bagged and put back in the freezer.

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Is this a thing of beauty, or what?

Sweet Baby Jesus,  y’all.

I have waxed eloquent about my cheesecake recipe on here before. (Recipe here.) I am here to report I have Sweet-Baby-Jesus-ed that thing to another level, and I encourage you — no, I DIRECT you — to go out and get you two quarts of strawberries while strawberries are still available, and make one yourownself.

It will win you all manner of plaudits and you can simply smile graciously and pretend you came up with the idea out of your own little brain. I don’t mind.

One takes this cheesecake recipe, linked above, and makes up the batter, and prepares two springform pans. This is too much batter for a nine-inch pan; it’s about right for a nine-incher and a six-incher, so you can make one to take somewhere fancy, and one to have at home, and the family will love you, and the pot-luck you’re taking it to will be impressed as all hell.

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Ahhhhh, spring. Tomatoes. Other fresh veggies. Bountiful.

And how did it get to be 10 days since I’ve posted?

Well, I was on the road for four of ’em. And poorly with a stomach bug for two or three more. But I have finally gotten the notion back to be in the kitchen, inspired in large part by this haul from the Farmers’ Market this morning.

There will be BLTs, yes, there will. And can I just tell you, I am contemplating getting in the kitchen Right Now and sauteeing up that yellow squash with some onions? And I may yet do that for dinner. Squash and sliced tomato. Who needs anything else? Yes, it’ll be fresh veggie time for a few days.

There were no exceptional road food meals. Pizza one night. A music festival cheeseburger (cold) one night. An eminently forgettable dinner at a meeting in Memphis one night. I think I had pork tenderloin and something.

I’ve cooked a good deal of asparagus the past two or three weeks. Made a very tasty slaw with blanched, cut spears, raw sugar snaps, sliced up, and slivered carrots; dressing was oil, vinegar and sugar. Plain, simple, good. Added some corn kernels to it the next day and that was pretty good, too. I got what may likely be the last asparagus of the season today at the market, and I’m thinking I may reprise that salad, putting corn kernels in from the get-go this time. It lasts, and it’s always good to have around, and it’d just be primo on some of those sliced ripe tomatoes.

Cucumbers are going to get marinated up as cucumber, onion and tomato salad. I may go with an Asian flavor profile for that dressing — rice vinegar, soy sauce, a splash of sesame oil, a little mirin, some ginger, maybe a little honey (or maybe not).

Next weekend, I am cooking for a pot-luck picnic with my high school graduating class. I’m thinking a smoked pork loin, using some of those new potatoes for a salad with thyme, olive oil and vinegar dressing, and some cut-up boiled eggs. Some of the strawberries are going in a strawberry cheesecake, which will go in the freezer. Also on that menu may be some jail slaw, as I have a head of cabbage lounging around that wants to be used.

Today, I’ve cooked for the soup kitchen — three 10-pound hams, which were decimated. Three gallons of green beans. Two vats (about two gallons each, I’d guess) of mac and cheese. A big bowl of pasta salad. Always wears me out, but doggone, it’s a good tired. Especially when I look at the 40-plus people who got a good meal, many of whom took a carryout home with them so they’ll have another one tomorrow.

If you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em have big plans for the holiday weekend, let me know about ’em. And be careful on the highways.

 

Love for leftovers

May 9, 2018

Leftovers to look forward to: Fried rice.

Sometimes, it just all comes together.

I had the asparagus, corn and shrimp from the previous post. I had white rice from the other night’s less-than-spectacular orange chicken.

I always have eggs. One can do a helluva lot with eggs.

I sauteed some ginger and garlic in canola oil, tumped in the rice. Broke it all up and got it coated with the oil. Added about half the corn/asparagus/shrimp mixture. Splashed it with some soy sauce, some mirin, some sesame oil. Boom. Quickie fried rice.

Dished that up, and fried a couple of eggs; over the top they went.

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Hip-pocket gourmet

May 8, 2018

These four things, plus butter, are all you need.

We’ve all had them. You learn at 4 p.m. you’re having guests for dinner. You have nothing thawed. You are at work. They will be there at six. Carryout is probably not advisable (it’s your inlaws, or worse yet, your inlaws to be, or your boss, or your spouse’s boss, or….you get my drift).

Whaddya do?

You do this.

You stop by the grocery and pick up the following:

  • A pound of asparagus
  • Four ears of sweet corn
  • A one-pound bag of frozen, cooked, peeled shrimp (salad size is fine)
  • A package of fresh tarragon from the produce counter’s herb selection
  • A nice baguette
  • Salad fixings

I’m going to trust you have butter in the fridge. If you don’t, get that, too.

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A stovetop full of cookware!

Isn’t it PRETTY? I’m fixin’ to break it in with dinner tonight, and see how good it cooks.

My mis-matched, picked up here and there cookware has gone home with Child C, and my brand new Paderno is occupying pride of place atop my stove, where I can look at it.

For the record, the above is what $1,000 worth of cookware looks like. Well, $1,000 Canadian, which comes out to about $775 US, and let me guarantee you I paid nowhere near THAT for it. And the only reason I have it at all is due to the good offices of an online friend I know through the eGullet cooking forum, who ordered it for me, and then turned around and shipped it to me in Arkansas.

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