In My Kitchen -October

In My Kitchen - The October edition hosted by Sherry.  I'm scheduling this one in case the storm knocks out our power.

 UPDATE: Today is October 11th and we are in a hotel.  Had to evacuate our home because of Hurricane Michael.  As it stands right now our county of residence is under a curfew so we can not return yet. Fortunately the hotel could give us an extra few nights. I am still posting this for Sherry's In My Kitchen and I sincerely hope to find these items below just where we left them!  More later..........

Some of my favorites on the stove top. My much loved Le Creuset dutch oven that I bought in Destin Florida on a vacation. There is a shop dedicated to Le Creuset wares and I had a time looking through it all.  Finally settled on this 5.5 quart red beauty.  It's used quite a bit and I take very good care of it.

Behind it is a tea kettle our son bought us for Christmas one year.  that gets quite a bit of use for tea in colder temps. The hot pad was crocheted by sister Linda back in 1993.  It was our last visit prior to her death and she knew it, so she bought yarn and made me three of these hot pads.  The other two have raveled badly but this one lives on!


Here is the pot getting action in prep for a Curtis Stone recipe - Brazilian Chicken.


Homemade sauce, pasta and wine makes good comfort food.


Weird little olive spoon made it's way into the house and can be handy for fishing an olive out of the jar.  The olive picks are from World Market, little seahorse designs.


And here are the speared olives in a Tanqueray gin martini.  My husband excels in the martini making.  So cold and tasty.


Linking up with Sherry's Pickings for her In My Kitchen series and Beth Fish Reads for Weekend Cooking.  I HOPE to get back with updates soon.  We never did have good internet connection at home so while I am in a hotel I am taking advantage of it.  But truth be told, I'd rather have spotty service and be home.  Fingers crossed/


Big bad storm

I had planned to write about something else besides a storm but Hurricane Michael changed my plans. At present it's projected to be a category 2 or 3 when it crosses directly over Tallahassee.  We are just west of that and at this moment, wondering if we should evacuate.


When Florence was headed toward the Carolinas I remember seeing photos of clogged roadways as people evacuated. That wouldn't be any fun for sure. Especially with an old dog. No way we would ever leave her behind or try and board her, I was amazed and horrified that some people don't take their animals. Aja is family.

Anyway, I will schedule this post and hope for the best and maybe have an update or food post soon.

The only other news is this Instant Pot arrived in the mail last Friday. I haven't tried it yet.
 Doug fiddled with it and did some hard boiled eggs. I admit to being a bit scared of the steam vent. I'm fairly clumsy so, it's a valid concern. Hoping to bring you meal posts using this pot soon.


That's all I have for today.

What a week!
{Carole's Pasta Salad, personal woes and a cow playing ball}

What a week. I wouldn’t put much hope on any lottery numbers I picked for this week. Ha!

 Last weekend I injured my back, my own fault, because I didn’t lift Aja using my knees. Everyone knows you lift bracing with your knees so you don’t stress the back muscles. Oops….wasn’t thinking when I started to lift our little 34 pound girl. She’s old, she can’t jump into the Outback anymore and without thinking, I reached down and grabbed her. The back locked up with a horrid shooting pain.

 I called out to Doug, “I can’t move! You have to come get her” and thus began my introduction to Aleve pain meds and back exercises.

Spoiled old girl, love her..............


Anyway, it’s feeling much better now. Really puts a cramp in your style when the walking routine is disrupted, can’t move pots of water from the stove to the sink, stuff like that. Doug did the lifting in the kitchen,  all the lifting of Aja into the back seat of the car and more. It will be good to get back to walking as I had been. 

 Speaking of the Outback, I managed to very roughly scrape the passenger side tire and rims on a curb going into work. Nice. I pulled into one of the entrances at work and there was line at the guard shack. Someone probably mistook the entrance for a doctor’s office, had tried to get into the compound and needed to turn around. The car ahead of me went through the gate but I steered too close to a curb and damaged the rims. Took a bit off the tires too but the folks at Subaru looked it over and they are fine.

I’m not blaming the misdirected car, this was completely my fault. I’m very relieved that we don’t need new tires. Maybe the scrapes on the rims will buff out. 😡

Work got hectic when a day of scheduled interviews was canceled and all had to be called, set up for different times. It's not a big deal but who wants to go over the same work twice.  After that was handled I had down time to check out the CNN email with highlights of news. At the bottom of that email they always include something funny, silly or happy.

 So what happens? My boss comes in when I am looking at a video of a cow playing ball with her owner. I had been working solid and took 5 minutes and of course that's when he comes in.


End of first world problems and personal woes :-)

Let's visit Souper Sunday.

A few weeks ago I saw a post at Carole's Chatter for her toss together Pasta Salad.  Her post is HERE and you will see a pretty photo of her salad.

The salad was good and instead of following her recipe to the letter, I added corn and tomatoes. Recipes are just guidelines and suggestions for me.

Yes, here are my blue lunch bowls again. 👇👇👇 


Carole's Pasta Salad

Ziti pasta
Grilled salmon
Hard boiled eggs
sliced green onion

I cooked the pasta and had the hard boiled eggs on hand.  Sliced up  the rest of the veggies and used a piece of grilled salmon. It was cold and I think we ought to have eaten it cold.  We heated it up at work and added an Italian dressing.  It would have been much vbetter if we'd used other dressing or ate it without heating.  It was still good and lots of protein packed in here.

Linking up with Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sunday this week.  Here post and yummy soup and sandwich may be found HERE.

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A Birthday and Celebration
{Food, Champagne, Chocolate and Music}

This is a birthday post! Doug is finally as old as I am and we celebrated in style. Breakfast out but dinner at home because we can enjoy ourselves more.

This is also the year he retires and becomes a house husband, a gardener, a gentleman at leisure and whatever else he would like to do.  So it's two celebrations here and we were up to the task. We are about to start the next phase of our lives and I hope it includes lots of travel and good food and music.

First, a ride with the top down on the Mustang as early morning is the only time it isn't too hot around here.  It's been so humid and steamy lately.  We did get some Mustang time in though.


Beginning with breakfast of French Toast at Village Inn.


Midday we ended up reading and he finished the first in the DCI Banks series by Peter Robinson.  I'm working on the first book in the Shetland series by Ann Cleeves,  Nice relaxing afternoon.

Dinner was all homemade with the exception of the cantaloupe we didn't grow :-)  Freshly baked baguette, sliced cantaloupe.


Panko breaded lump crabcakes and Remoulade sauce.


Champagne to celebrate - a Moet & Chandon.  Pity that market Square liquors uses those price stickers. Oh, the champagne glasses are those we bought on our honeymoon 34 years ago.  Can't believe they have survived so long!


Harbison cheese.  This is such a treat,  It's a creamy cheese wrapped in Spruce from Jasper Farms in Greensboro Vermont.  Not an everyday cheese course for us, it's rich but worth it for special occasions.


Black Forest Pie for dessert. Recipe may be found HERE. I haven't made one in ages.


By the end of the evening we were in the den, listening to music, a bit of Chris Rea and a great combo album of Joe Bonamassa and Beth Hart. We finished off a half bottle of Sancerre that was in the fridge.  Aja enjoyed getting her green bean treats and hanging out with us.


It was a fabulous day and admittedly one of overindulgence.  But what are celebrations for - we just cut loose and had us a time :-)  Looking forward to Fall now and some cooler temps.  Time on the patio and cool breezes.

Sharing this foodie post with Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series.

Potato, Corn and Mushroom Soup
{basically cleaning-out-the-fridge soup}

I think I need prettier bowls for work lunches.  In an effort to be greener, zero waste, I use real bowls instead of paper or Styrofoam.  But I need some variety so I guess I'll go bowl shopping for a prettier Souper Sunday presentation!

This past week it was clean-out-the-fridge time and the orphaned veggies found themselves dropped into a soup. Sometimes those kind of soups are the best - no recipes to follow, just chop and dice whatever yummy vegs you have on hand and go from there. (Another bonus for zero waste.)


This time I had potatoes, 4 ears of yellow corn, roughly 8 ounces of white button mushrooms, an onion, garlic, and 2 carrots on hand.  My crispers are now cleaner and ready for refilling.

Basically I sauteed all but the potatoes for several minutes.  Then I added potato chunks and enough vegetable broth to cover the potatoes.  Let that simmer until the potatoes are tender.  Mix in a big spoon of flour and slowly add milk to thicken.  I also used oregano, bay leaf, parsley, salt and pepper.

It made enough for two days lunches for us.  Once Doug retires I will divvy  up the lunch fixings so he can heat some at home and I take some to work.  Now that will be weird after eating lunch together for decades.   More on that later.

For next week I am working on a soupy chicken curry.  Love a curry.

Linking up with Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series and Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sunday.  Check out her Lentil Soup HERE

A Cuban and a Before-and-After Sandwich for Souper Sunday

Happy weekend!  It seemed to take a while to get here but happy days (at least two days) are here now.  This is the all-about-sandwiches post for Souper Sunday.

The Before and After Sandwich is chicken and egg salad combined. We had a bit of chicken but not quite enough for two sandwiches.  We also had farm fresh eggs so, why not boil some and mix them together.  Cheap buns at Costco were handy so this made a great lunch for work.

The Before and After Sandwich - use lots of tomato and lettuce.  I also added salt, pepper, garlic powder and chopped green onions. 

This Cuban is from 4 Rivers BBQ in Tallahassee and it was a very good sandwich. Would I order it again?  Absolutely!  This packed pressed sandwich was so large that I wish I hadn't gotten the two sides.  Next time I'll only order the sandwich.  It has more meat than I am used to eating but I wasn't sorry - Smoked pork,  ham, onion rings, mustard, pickles, melted provolone and 4R signature sauce.

If I ever get another sandwich press I will probably press a tomato and cheese or some healthier combo.  This was good though, I would get it again someday.


Homemade soup and salads coming up next week.

 Linking up with Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for the Souper Sunday event. Check out her Garlic Soup with Shrimp and Potato  HERE

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In My Kitchen - September 2018

These past few months I have enjoyed seeing posts for an event called In My Kitchen hosted at Sherry's Pickings.  I first noticed them at Mae's Food Blog and Eliot's Eats, two sites I enjoy reading when I can get a connection to the Internet.  This time, I thought I would join in.

Cookbooks - I am slowly going through cookbooks ( as well as all the other books) and figuring out what can stay and what is headed out to the library donation box,  If we move I want less to pack.  If we don't move I want less clutter.  I wrote about that HERE.  Many of these pictured won't be leaving :-) but I have many more!


Recipe Book Project: This is a recipe booklet I am making to send to our son who recently moved to Nebraska. As I do with some of my recipes, I placed them in a clear protective sheet and popped them in a binder. You can pull one out and if liquid gets on the page, you can just wipe it clean. I have been selecting recipes he had enjoyed in the past when he lived home.

  recipe book

Farmer's Market pasta is a quick and easy fix when I don't know what we can have for dinner.   Take any vegetables on hand and saute in a bit of olive oil.  Once they are soft add a tablespoon or so of A/P flour and stir to coat the veggies, then add half-n-half or milk until it's creamy.  This time I used asparagus, garlic, red bell pepper, onion, mushrooms and green beans.  After the sauce was made I drizzled a few teaspoons of honey.  Served over thin spaghetti and this makes a healthy filling meal.


New place mats! These blue circled pattern mats were on clearance at World Market so I thought I would pick them up.  Love 'em.
The material is jute, very nice, so I will have to go and check and see if they have more.

IMK4     IMK5

Revolving Spice Rack - This is a handy Lazy Susan style storage place for dried spices.  It's on a shelf right near the stove so I can easily grab what I need. The Badia label has the best containers as you can clean them out and make your own rubs or mixtures for storage.  There is one in the bottom right corner with a white label.  That one had a rub for pork roast.


It's been fun participating in the In My Kitchen event - thanks Sherry!

Check out this month's In My kitchen event at Sherry's Pickings HERE.
Also linking up with  Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series


Sorting out the cookbooks led to a batch of Vegetarian Chili

I have quite a few cookbooks hanging about the house.  Some are used often, some are kept for sentimental reasons or lovely photos and others have languished on the shelf, unused  for years.  In an effort to clear the house of clutter I have decided to tackle one room at a time.

The room in question has clothing, genealogy notebooks and books.  Lots of books.  Anyone who knows us knows we very much want to move away from the area after retirement and so, less clutter and superfluous belongings means less to pack and move.  (Let's see if our dream comes true).

This Desperate Housewives Cookbook was inspired by the TV show of the same name.  It's a television show we didn't watch.  We tried two episodes and it just wasn't our cuppa tea.  So how I ended up with a cookbook devoted to a show we didn't watch is a mystery.


Here is a snap of the recipe for the vegetarian chili.  The book is well laid out and I have many recipes tabbed to try.  See the little green strip on the upper right corner?  I am marking recipes I want to make.  After I get through with those this book will find it's way to the donation box at the library.  Stayed tuned for the purging of the books!


First recipe from this cookbook was good.  I will make it again, it was a nice lunch for us for two days.  Served over rice because that's how we like to eat chili.  This photo below show the veggies getting softened and the spices added before mixing it all up.


I have to admit there are quite a few  recipes I have found in this book but I don't think enough to keep the book.  My recipe notebooks/ binders are divided by category such as chicken, soups and stews, seafood, etc.  This one will get saved into the soups and stews.  Easier for me to locate the recipe in  a hurry.  Here is the recipe below.

Vegetarian Chili
Desperate Housewives Cookbook

3 TB vegetable oil
2 cups diced yellow onions
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 carrot, peeled , trimmed and diced
6 garlic cloves
1 pound large mushrooms, stems trimmed, caps halved
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
Two 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes with liquid
Two 15 ounce kidney beans, drained and rinsed (I used small red beans)
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro (left this out)
1 cup sour cream, optional

Heat oil in a saucepan.  Add all the veggies and saute until soft.  Next add the spices, mix gently.  Add the beans and undrained tomatoes.  I also added a bit of vegetable broth because I like it saucier.
Serve with shredded cheddar and sour cream.

*Note: I cut this recipe in half because it's just the two of us. 

I forgot to get a photo of the chili in a bowl!  But it was good, and that's the bottom line.

 Linking up with Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series  and Deb for the Souper Sunday event at her place.  Check out her Chickpea, potato and Cauliflower Rice Soup  HERE.  Join in at Kahakai Kitchen!

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In My Kitchen -October

In My Kitchen - The October edition hosted by Sherry.  I'm scheduling this one in case the storm knocks out our power.   UPDATE : Tod...