2017 odds and ends

January 7, 2017

Bacon. Sous vide bacon. Because, bacon.

Bacon. Sous vide bacon. Because, bacon.

Still attempting to get back into the swing of cooking in this new year. One thing I HAVE managed to do is cook two or three good breakfasts, even though I haven’t done much in the way of dinner. Well, I did cook dinner last night, albeit it took twice as long as I thought it would and I don’t have any pictures.

But I have pictures of breakfast, yes, I do. Above would be a basic breakfast I cooked one day this past week, when I knew I’d be busy as the dickens all week and this might be the major meal of the day. And it contains one of the cooking revelations I’ve discovered recently, namely, sous vide bacon.

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Obligatory good-luck dinner for 2017 on Jan. 1.

Obligatory good-luck dinner for 2017 on Jan. 1.

Well, hey there, all y’all! Didja MISS me?

How it was, was, like this. There were enough leftovers I didn’t cook for three or four days after Christmas. Then I left for Nashvegas to babysit AGCs 1 and 3 while their parents, the bums, were off vacationing in Key West. ┬áNow, tending to an energetic kindergartener and an energetic pre-schooler is NOT real conducive to cooking, though we did manage a couple of things.

Like the above obligatory black eyed peas and cabbage for New Year’s Day. The kids were suspicious about it, but finally agreed they liked fried potatoes. One of them liked the cabbage, the other the peas. I’ll call it a win.

I made the peas as if I were cooking red beans and rice, with turkey kielbasa and tomatoes and onions and spices. They were quite excellent. I used Rancho Gordo blackeyed peas, for good measure. My good luck for 2017 should be well assured.

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Recycling-R-Us

December 27, 2016

M'mmm. Recycled breakfast. Sheer brilliance, if I did come up with it myownself.

M’mmm. Recycled breakfast. Sheer brilliance, if I did come up with it myownself.

Because, well, sometimes, you bring home carryout you just don’t want right then. And when you can recycle last night’s dinner into this morning’s breakfast, that’s a win any way you look at it.

Yesterday, after Child A and I made a pilgrimage to the nail salon for post-Christmas manicures and pedicures, she decided we were hungry. Now, I did not really think I was hungry, but by the time I got the 1,000 feet from the nail salon to the Steak Escape drive-through, I was hungry. And a cheesesteak sounds marginally healthier (not that I’m sure why) than do most fast food offerings. So I ordered a small steak, no peppers, on wheat bread.

And then I saw they had loaded baked potatoes, with bacon and cheese. OK, I needs me one of those. Got that, too.

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Sandwich time!

December 26, 2016

Big ol' blister on the top; I should've slashed the loaf before I baked it.

Big ol’ blister on the top; I should’ve slashed the loaf before I baked it.

I figured if I had ham and turkey left over from Christmas, I could enjoy sandwiches for a few days. But to do that, I had to have some sandwich bread.

So I made some, Christmas evening.

This is flax seed potato bread, from the Food 52 site (recipe here). I figure it’ll handle me for sandwiches for the rest of this week, and then I’ll be in Nashville being grandmother for a long weekend, and then I can make another loaf when I get home. So far, I haven’t made a sandwich with it, but it’s made some fine toast for breakfast the last two mornings.

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We had a fine, fine Christmas dinner. There is not a single picture of it, because, well, Christmas and all its attendant chaos. Six adults, three kids, two spastic dogs, small house. You get the idea.

The best part of Christmas! AGCs, from left, 1, 3 and 2.

The best part of Christmas! AGCs, from left, 1, 3 and 2.

There is, however, this picture, the single moment during the day when we got a kindergartener and two preschoolers to stand still. And snapped quick. And they’re what it’s all about, anyway.

Dinner prep kinda got away from me, as I had to take a chunk of time out of the morning to roast the turkey I was taking to a local group home for a Christmas meal. And that wouldn’t have been so bad but for the fact I had to run hot water over the turkey, which had been sitting in the bottom of the fridge for three full days, but had barely thawed the least little bit.

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Cooking Crimmis

December 22, 2016

cherry cheesecake

OK. We have made this.

Lawd have mercy. It’s Crimmis, all up in here!

I have been to Kroger more times than the legally allowable limit this week, I think. Because today, I realized I was Almost Out of foil, and you cannot cook Christmas dinner without foil. It just won’t work. And Child A had bemoaned that I had not made fudge, and “I don’t care if you make all those other kinds, but you know, we’re all gonna eat that peanut butter fudge, and my sister (that would be Child B) will be heartbroken if there is no peanut butter fudge.”

So I got marshmallow cream. And another bag of sugar. And foil. And stuff for a coconut cake, though that won’t be for Christmas, because it takes four days aging, and I don’t have that in the calendar, but we will have coconut cake early in 2017. It’s in the freezer. Have already told friend Kate, who is all about some coconut cake, that I need five days’ notice when she’s coming to visit, so I can make one and get it started aging.

Anyway. Christmas dinner is tomorrow, to accommodate Child B’s schedule, so she and her family can get back home and actually have Christmas morning in their own home for a change, and I think that is a Good Thing, and I’m perfectly happy to change my dinner plans to help it happen. Not to mention that it means Child A and Lucy and I can hang out on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, go to church, and eat fun things like waffles and pigs in blankets and all such, and generally be slothful and highly enjoy it.

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Last minute this-n-thats

December 19, 2016

Slicing the frozen cracker loaf. How thin can you get?

Slicing the frozen cracker loaf. How thin can you get?

Well, goodie basket stuff is done, and now it’s time to start thinking about Christmas dinner, which, this year, is two days early, so Child B and family can actually get back home and have Christmas morning in their own house for a change.

The final toll, along with what you’ve read about already, included 10 four-ounce jars of chicken liver pate’; eight dozen pseudo-Rain Coast Crisp crackers; and more of that damn eggnog, because I was trying to use up the last of the SECOND bottle of Everclear I bought when I decided I wanted to make more eggnog.

We will be some eggnog-drinking folks up here in this house, I am here to tell you.

The chicken liver pate’ is an old standby. When my kids were little, we made the acquaintance of a gentleman up in Northwest Arkansas who was a retired maitre’d from the MGM Grand in Vegas, and an accomplished cook. We would from time to time go to dinner at his house, and one evening, he served us a pate as an appetizer. You have never seen an elementary-age girl and a toddler chow down on some liver like Children A and B did that night. (I think that was pre-Child-C, or she was still in the formula stage.

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