Tuesday, May 11, 2021

In my kitchen for the month of May

What a crazy couple of days we have had moving furniture and boxing household goods. I told our son it was as if we were plunged into a busy, physically active nonstop warehouse job. We ache from carrying things and many many trips up and down the stairs.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my last post about the stovetop meals and my lost wallet.  Now that we are settled in the RV I will be able to visit and post again.  The kitchen demolition started this morning so I will be glad to see what it looks like later this week when we return to do laundry.

Here's what I brought for the In My Kitchen event at Sherry's Pickings and Weekend Cooking.

From the Indian market in Tallahassee I have these pantry staples.  They were packed for this trip.

Fresh limes, dates and a chocolate treat for afternoon coffee.

Kiwi fruits and fresh green beans - they have the best produce there.  If you are in the Tallahassee area this is a good place to get produce.

The old camp stove was problematic but this new one is great. Here it is set up on the camp kitchen. Big and shiny red. 

Instead of three burners I have two large burners - so much better for those large skillets.

This cookbook has been languishing on a shelf for a while and it now lives in the RV.

Our view at the campsite.  We are at Three Rivers State Park for a few days and then we will find another place to stay.  I'm glad we aren't home to hear all that banging and destruction! This is peaceful.

Sharing with
Marg at The Intrepid Reader for Weekend Cooking

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Stovetop Meals and Grousing

Man, what a week. It's been fun and hectic looking at things for the remodel and I planned to share that but.....all I could think about the last few days was my lost wallet. 

We were walking out of Home Depot, Doug pushing the shopping cart with our fixtures and me following with Loki on his leash. I had placed my wallet in my purse and I evidently did not shove it in deep enough. Unbeknownst me, it fell out.

A mere ten minutes later we arrive at the library and I discover the absence of my wallet. Raced back to H.D. and scour the parking lot, check with customer service and a manager. It is gone. Arggh........ Everything is handled now such as getting a new drivers licence ordered, credit cards canceled, a new insurance card requested, etc.

Today I will just share the week's meals. Any who follow me on Instagram may have already seen these photos I posted yesterday. These are meals we can prepare without the use of an oven.  Lately I have been making a list of skillet/stovetop meals for when we live in the the RV during the demolition. 

This stir fry is different each time we make it.  Sometimes we use different veggies and sometimes we use chicken or tofu.  We know we like it best with the Ramen noodles.

This salad of baby spinach, beefsteak tomatoes, avocado and toasted walnuts was a fabulous accompaniment to the leftover chicken dinner.

Easy to toss together.

Pull the stems off the baby spinach leaves. Chop any type tomatoes you like and slice avocado.  Toast the walnut halves at 350 F for about 10 minutes.  I rubbed a little olive oil on the walnuts.  Toss all ingredients and add favorite dressing.  We used red wine vinegar and olive oil. 

Sharing with
Marg at The Intrepid Reader for Weekend Cooking series
Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sunday

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Lemon and Asparagus Risotto from Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries

 Nigel Slater's book The Kitchen Diaries is fun to read.  Well I suppose it's fun if you like a memoir /cookbook sort of book.  This one is my favorites.  I'm hoping to acquite Notes from the Larder one day as it's a similar format.

Risotto is one of those dishes where you need a bit of patience as you slowly add broth and continually stir. You are rewarded with a creamy rice dish that can melt in yuor mouth.  This can be made vegetarian by using a vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

The recipe may be found in Nigel's column in The Guardian or his cookbook The Kitchen Diaries. This is a great meal on it's own or a nice side with grilled chicken. 

Lemon and Asparagus Risotto
The Kitchen Diaries

2 TB  butter
a small onion, chopped
1 cup arborio rice
a glass of white wine (or Noilly Prat)
1 pound asparagus
3 1/2 cups  hot chicken stock
1 lemon
3 tbsp grated Parmesan

Melt the butter in a wide, high-sided pan over a very low heat. Peel the Chop the onion finely. If your onion is larger than a golf ball you will only need half of it. Let it soften in the butter, stirring it from time to time so that it does not color.

Stir in the rice, folding the grains over in the butter with a spoon. Then pour in the wine or vermouth. Let it bubble down until the liquid has pretty much disappeared, then chop the asparagus into short lengths and set aside. Add a hefty ladleful of hot stock, turn the heat up a bit, then let the liquid almost disappear, before adding the pieces of asparagus and a second ladle of stock. Continue adding the stock as it boils down to almost nothing, until it has all gone. Stir the rice often, grating and squeezing the lemon as you go.

Season with salt, pepper, the lemon zest and juice, and continue cooking till the rice is creamy but has a little bite left in it. Stir in the cheese and eat immediately.

Note: it makes a huge difference using fresh parmesan instead of the containers of dried we use on pasta.  It was the best risotto we ever made using the fresh.

Sharing with

Saturday, April 24, 2021

April roundup
{food, books & projects}

The last weekend in April....can you believe it? We've had much going on with the house, Loki and some appointments.  The time seems to have flown by. Here's a roundup of food/books/projects.

Food / I made this from a recipe I found in a Food Network magazine.  A simple skillet meal with pasta.  Spaghettini with bacon, mushrooms and herbs. Recipe may be found HERE. It's quick and filling.

Reading / I had a scare when my Kindle locked up and gave me a white screen.  I was very sad to think it died but lo and behold, after much prodding, I was able to do a restart and it works! For the 2021 Historical Reading challenge I've read The Exiles, a historical fiction set in London and Australia and The Kew Garden Girls. Also a nonfction, The Search for God and Guinness.  I just started Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. Productive reading month considering.

Watching / We finished Justified, all six seasons and it was great.  Now we are at a loss for new series and are hoping to get Yellowstone with Kevin Costner from the library. 

Kitchen and bathroom remodel - We are still working on that project.  The estimate came in and we were given assigments to look at bathroom fixtures, kitchen sink and plumbing needs.  We are ahead of the curve with picking out paint, appliances and countertop. Yea! A date to start demolition has yet to be determined. 
Oh, we also had nine trees removed from the front of the house.

That's it and I hope you all are healthy and happy where ever you are!

Sharing with

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Jacques Pépin's Penne, Ham and Vegetable casserole

It's April 15 and a cool rainy day here. This month we have had quite a bit going on but only in the planning stages - I'll be glad when some of it is done with.  

Next week we have a tree service coming by to take out nine trees.  I don't think they want us here getting underfoot as most of these trees are close to the house. Frankly it will be so noisy that we will go off with Loki and find something else to occupy us all day.

We are also in the midst of planning a kitchen and bath remodel, who knew that would be so much work!  I'll be sure to take before and after photos.

Getting on to foodie stuff - here is a casserole I won't be able to make when the kitchen  is demolished and I don't have access to an oven!  The theme at I Heart Cooking Club is Put It On Repeat so here is a casserole from Jacques Pépin.

Comfort food, a nice thing when it's gloomy and rainy.

A one dish meal is perfect as it's easy to store in the fridge and you don't have a load of different dishes and pots. Basically this is a mac and cheese with ham and veggies.  I do remember our son liking it first time he tried it seven years ago. That was memorable as our granddaughter was under a year old then....she just celebrated her 7th birthday 😯

I have made this before but can't find the link on my blog so, check out this link for the recipe HERE

Sharing with

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Giada’s roasted veggies

This week has been busy. We both had our second Pfizer vaccine and we met with a construction company about remodeling the kitchen and bath! The organization for a remodel is impressive and the project manager went over soooo many options. I hope to share before and after photos but it won't be for a while.

In the meantime, let me share a roasted veggie and chicken meal we had last night.

Mea Culpa!  I read the theme incorrectly for I Heart Cooking Club. For whatever reason I got it in my head we were making comfort food.  I am on board with trying a new chef, or dish that I have never prepared (which is this week's theme), so perhaps I'll give that a try for upcoming Potluck.

Since I did prepare my side inspired by IHCC chef Giada I will link up anyway. A "twist" on this was adding the chicken to the veggies as they roasted instead of following directions. Nothing revolutionary there but still....

The recipe without my adaptions may be found HERE. Couldn't abide the bitter Brussels Sprouts so I added more sweet potato and carrots.  A breeze to prepare and using a high rimmed baking sheet accomodated everything easily.

Sharing with
Marg at The Intrepid Reader for Weekend Cooking  & I Heart Cooking Club

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Sunday Salon - Welcome April!

Here we are in the first week of April and I can't believe how fast it seemed to arrive. As usual I probably waited too late to plant tomatoes but I will most likely give it a try as soon as I can get to the nursery.  Weird weather patterns have us sitting outside to enjoy dinner one night and driven inside by freezing temps later in the week.  That certainly hampers gardening plans.

Life stuff / Doug had his eye surgery this week. A vitrectomy which was succesful.  He can’t drive now as he's recovering. He came out with an eye patch - very roguish as a pirate. This eye surgery is the result of the torn retina back in November so hopefully all is repaired now.  Amazing what advances we have in medicine these days.  Fifty years ago he would have gone blind so I am thankful to Dr. Steinmetz and his expertise!

The Loki Chronicles / Loki is getting better as time goes on.  He has a girlfriend at the park but I don't think he knows it.  She flirts with him, rolls over and "talks" but he isn't fully engaged yet.  They do get along splendidly. 

He was dropped off for a bath at the vet's office and they sufficiently babies him so he won't have fear of that group of people.  He's still on Xanax but making improvements. All he needed was love and patience.

Reading / March was a good month for me as far as reading and NetGalley has been kind in supplying me several ARCs.  The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman; Mr. Nobody Catherine Steadman; Reluctantly Home by Imogen Clark and I have just started Madam by Phoebe Wynn. Madam is creepy and I can't put it down. I also finished Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman and it's my favorite of her books so far.

That's my Sunday Salon for the first week of April.  I hope everyone is well and staying safe. 

Linking up with Deb at Reader Buzz for Sunday Salon.

Saturday, April 03, 2021

In My Kitchen and Weekend Cooking

I have not prepared many new recipes this week but revisited some old favorites.  Hoping to get a Jacques Pepin meal on the table in a few days so I can hook up with I Heart Cooking Club.
The temperatures have been up and down and this week we will prapare some hearty dishes for warmth.  Last week we were dining outdoors.  Now we are running the heater. 

In the kitchen / Doug made a good batch of  Arroz con Pollo in the instant pot last Sunday. I had to sample the olives to sure they were good but I did manage to stop myself before I ate them all.

We also had lasagna and it was so hearty we had it for a few dinners and a lunch.  Not everyday but spread out over several.

 A new addition in our kitchen is this Ultra Kettle by Mueller.  

It heats the tea water very rapidly and has these blue lights which highlight what's happening in the glass kettle.  We love it. I did a test run of filling this kettle and our stovetop kettle with the same amount of water.  The Ultra kettle brings it to a boil much faster so...I get my evening tea fix a little sooner.

Not too many plans in the works...just awaiting an estimate for the kitchen remodel, going to a few doctor appointments and we get our second covid vaccine next week. Yea! 

Sharing with Marg at The Intrepid Reader for Weekend Cooking and Sherry's Pickings for the In My Kitchen event.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Chicken stroganoff & peach cobbler

It's been a lazy week here and I only prepared one new recipe. 

 Chicken Stroganoff was mentioned on Marg's site and then Carole made a beef stroganoff last week so...I was wanting to have that for dinner. Tyler Florence had a pretty good recipe so I adjusted it to suit our taste.  I really wanted to use chicken instead of beef so that's the first edit.

The answer is yes to sour cream. I know some of you mushrooms haters will cringe but I added double...cause we love them. If you'd like to view Tyler's recipe click HERE and then make your own adaptions as I did.

Peach cobbler was next to try and it didn't come out as planned so I had to add more of the reserved peach syrup to moisten it. Vanilla ice cream helped it along. This was a Paula Deen recipe from one of her books about cutting back on sugars.  I had a copy of it and had been meaning to try it. Meh...


That is the short and sweet post from me this week.  I hope everyone is well and didn't have damage from those horrific storms that sliced across the U.S. this week.

Sharing with 

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Sunday Salon updates

It's been an interesting two weeks here. Let's start with the food roundup then I'll get to life updates.

Food / We enjoyed Papa Rellenas which I made from leftovers as well as the usual grilled meals and veggies.  For a new item in the kitchen I pulled from my folder of recipes-to-try. This is a Giada De Laurentiis pasta recipe called Baked Orzo with Peas and Fontina Cheese. 

The pasta dish could be a vegetarian main dish but we served as a side with grilled chicken marinated with olive oil, rosemary and garlic.  I know this will not appeal to those who do not like mushrooms but we are big fans so, I always add extra. The Marsala in this dish gives it a unique taste which I think blends well.

Reading / We went camping about 10 days ago and I forgot so many things. Despite my list, I forgot our tablet chargers and books. I did manage to read quite a few books prior to the trip and after we returned.  Netgalley sent me A Place Like Home by Rosamunde Pilcher which is a collection of fifteen short stories and The Vines by Shelley Nolden. In hardcover I had In Five Years by Rebecca Serle, a loan from the library.

Here is a nice shot of the sunset at Lake Seminole. The skies in the evening were clear and brilliant with stars.  Sunsets were consistantly beautiful and colorful.

Every time we camp there I think I want a home on the lake. 

Watching / Justified is a series we saw years ago and it remains one of our favorites.  We are up through season two now. A six season set for $30 was a good deal. 

Life events / Last week I had to have a tooth pulled, an upper molar. Did you now the top teeth have three roots and the bottom only two?  Well that tooth hung on for dear life,  broke and caused all sorts of trouble. After I got home we left for camping so I will blame my "trauma" for the reason I forgot so many items.  Despite always using a list.  Yeah...

Vaccine shots! Yes, we both received the Pfizer vaccine on Friday and will have a followup in three weeks.  This is the beginning of a normal life again.  Where shall we go first...I think it will be for Fat Cuban sandwich.  But that is weeks away.

Kitchen and bathroom remodel - not yet, but we did have a contractor come in and measure.  We are waiting on an estimate. If we have it all done we may need to live in the RV temporarily.

That's it and I hope you all are healthy and happy where ever you are.

Sharing with
I Heart Cooking Club (there were loads of peas for the green theme!)

In my kitchen for the month of May

What a crazy couple of days we have had moving furniture and boxing household goods. I told our son it was as if we were plunged into a busy...

Hello, my name is