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Showing posts from March, 2008

We're Back!

It's too late for me to start blogging our trip last week, so I will just do this:

I found this meme/tag thing over at Friday's Feast. So- I thought I'd answer the questions and see if anyone else had anything to say.

What does the color dark green make you think of?
Spinach or crayons.


How many cousins do you have?


On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how honest are you?

Main Course

Name something that is truly free.
Love (or at least it ought to be)


Using the letters in the word SPRING, write a sentence.
Salmonella prepares rats in nice gauchos.
Salmonella prevents rinsing interesting new grapes.

A Mixed Blessing....

It seems I find myself with the rest of the week off.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that right now the municipal water here in Alamosa is undrinkable. But after this morning at 9am, the water becomes absolutely toxic. In order to flush out the salmonella contamination, the water department is sending humungous amounts of chlorine through the pipes for the next few days, making our water useless for anything other than flushing toilets. Because of this, the Alamosa School District has cancelled classes for the rest of the week- as has the local college.

Not ones to sit around and mope (or subject ourselves to accidental chlorine burns), Dev and I have decided to declare an extended Spring Break, go get our fishing licenses and fishing poles, and take off on a fishing trip. Then we'll go back to Montrose and kick back with his parents- where we can idle away the week in a place where there is healthy retail therapy nearby.

So in a way this sucks, but in a way…

Double Gah!!!!!

For the first time ever, in recorded history, I found a recipe of mine credited on another food blog!!! And to make it even better- it's a blog written by a new friend of mine in the food blogging community- Jill of Simple Daily Recipes.

Thanks so much Jill for giving me such a shot in the arm- it's just what I needed to keep me plugging away at this. :)

So go check out Jill's blog!!!!

Guinness Cheesecake- Take 2- v.2

There it is. I can't cut it yet because it has to sit in the icebox for 4 more hours.

Here is the recipe from

for the crust
• 1 cup crushed chocolate graham crackers
• 2 Tablespoons white sugar
• 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1/4 cup butter, softened
for the filling
• 3 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
• 1 cup white sugar
• 3 eggs
• 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate morsels
• 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
• 1 cup sour cream
• a pinch of salt
• 3/4 cup Irish stout beer (ie: Guinness®)
• 2 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 ounce semi sweet chocolate for clover garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 inch spring form pan with butter.
for the crust
Place chocolate graham crackers in a food processor with sharp blade and process until the crackers have a sand-like texture. To the process, add the sugar, cocoa powder and butter. Process until the butter is incorporated and the crust comes together into pea size balls.
Press the…

Braised Chicken with Button Mushrooms

In spite of my oven drama this morning, I decided to soldier on and fix Easter dinner. I just needed to do it without an oven.

Instead of roasted chicken, I looked up a recipe for braised chicken. I was going to use Alice Waters' recipe, but I wanted to try something different. I consulted my usual two favorite recipe sites- and

I chose "Braised Chicken Thighs with Button Mushrooms"- an Emeril recipe. Here is the recipe- I noted my changes.

Braised Chicken Thighs with Button Mushrooms
by Emeril Lagasse

1 tablespoon olive oil
6 chicken thighs- I used a whole cut up chicken
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
16 ounces button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup sliced yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups dark chicken stock- I used 2 cups stock plus about a cup of white wine
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
4 cups steamed white rice- I ma…

Things Can Always Get Worse....

How can it get worse than having to boil all water you use? Waking up Easter morning, preparing to bake a Guinness Cheesecake for your sweetie and HAVING YOUR OVEN CRAP OUT ON YOU.

I'm not kidding. It started making a weird buzzing noise and when I opened the door, the coil in the bottom appeared to be on fire. After allowing he oven to cool, Dev took the racks out and looked at the coil- which is broken into about 3 pieces. How does that even happen? I baked biscotti Friday night and a pizza last night with no problem.

So now, not only does the cheesecake not get baked (thank God I preheated the oven before I actually mixed the filling. The only casualty was the crust.), but my plans for roasted chicken and asparagus for Easter dinner must be changed.

Oh well, it will give me a chance to do one of my favorite Alice Walker recipes for braising chicken. I'll post more about the situation later!

Why It Sucks to Live in Alamosa Right Now....

This article ran in the local newspaper Thursday morning....

"DENVER - Wednesday March 19th, 2008. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Wednesday has ordered the city of Alamosa to issue a bottled water advisory for Alamosa residents due to an outbreak of Salmonella in the community. Area residents and visitors are advised to immediately stop using tap water form the city's water system for drinking and cooking and to begin using bottled water until further notice.

Until such time as sufficient bottled water resources are available in the community, residents are advised that the next best protection is to boil any water from the city's municipal water system. Water to be consumed should be brought to a rolling boil, but there is no need to boil longer than 15 seconds.

When the flushing of the municipal water system begins, boiling water will not be adequate to protect the public from consuming the water. Only bottled water should be consumed from the tim…

Double Chocolate Chunk Biscotti

Double Chocolate Chunk Biscotti, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. This recipe came out of "Better Homes and Gardens" magazine back in the early 90's. I made these and put them in my Christmas baskets whatever year this issue came out.
I haven't made this recipe since then. Not because it didn't turn out, but because (like all my other recipes) it got buried under an ever deepening pile of other recipes I wanted to try.
Here's the recipe:

Double Chocolate Chunk Biscotti

1/3 c. butter, softened
2/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
4 oz. white baking bar, coarsely chopped
3 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixer bowl, beat butter on medium speed for about 30 seconds or til softened. Add sugar, cocoa powder and baking powder- beat til combined. Beat in the eggs. Beat in as much flour as you can. By hand, stir in any remaining flour, chopped white chocola…

Friday Breakfast

Friday Breakfast, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. I love breakfast when you don't have to be anywhere at a certain time. Nothing starts the day better than a big, leisurely breakfast. This morning we were both off, so I fixed scrambled eggs, maple link sausage, toasted bagel, orange segments and in the background you see a small plate of the Double Chocolate Chunk Biscotti I made last night.
This should keep us going for a day of cream cheese making, and a visit to the hot spring tonight!

Roasted Tomato Pasta

IMG_1154, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. This is one of our favorite dinners. I swear I make this once every 2 weeks.
I like it because you can truly use anything you have in the fridge. The recipe is simple....
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Put some water on and boil whatever pasta you want to use. Tonight I used bowtie pasta and a few smashed up lasagna noodles I needed to get rid of. When it is done, drain it, put it back in the pot and hit it with a little olive oil to keep it from sticking together.
Defrost whatever protein you want to use. I used about half a pound of frozen shrimp.
Put 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil in an 8x8 pyrex dish, or whatever oven safe container you have.
I sliced 3 big cloves of garlic and put them in the pan, then cut about 16 grape tomatoes in half and threw them in with the garlic.- then salt and pepper to taste.
Let the tomatoes and garlic roast about 15 minutes, until the tomatoes are wilty.
Take it out of the oven and add whatever else …

Turkey Taco Salad

This was dinner tonight. I sauteed some ground turkey with chopped onion, ground coriander, oregano, cumin and some tomato paste. I deglazed with some white wine.

I put the meat mixture on a bed of fresh spinach with chopped cucumber, mushrooms, tomatoes, jalapenos and shredded cheese. I topped it with some salsa (made from a dry mix that nearly blew my head off it was so hot) and some homemade southwestern ranch dressing.

Not exactly authentic, but pretty tasty.

Dev loves me.

So much that he made me this Easter Bunny in one of his classes. Awwwwwwww.

The last Spring Break Pic

This is the last of the Spring Break pics. I'm getting a little better at taking pictures out the truck windows, huh?


I get this look a lot...

Spring Break!

Spring Break- Day 1 (Saturday)

After eating a rather eclectic breakfast (we were trying to get rid of the last of the leftovers in the ice box before we left for a week), Dev and I packed the truck and headed for Montrose.

Along with our clothes and other trip necessities, I always try to pack some kind of food and water. I know this sounds stupid, but if we were to get stuck in an avalanche or snow slide, at least we would live a little longer if we could eat some almonds or granola and share a bottle of water. At least it would put off cannibalism a bit longer…

We had 3 routes at our disposal, and Dev chose the Silver Thread Byway (Hwy 149) through Lake City. We passed through Monte Vista, Del Norte, South Fork, Creede and Lake City on our way to Blue Mesa Lake and Hwy 50.

One of the cool things about traveling around in the mountains here is the amount of wildlife you get to see. On this trip we saw a mountain sheep, bounding up the side of a little cliff…

By the time we got to …

My First Meme!!!!!!

A great big huge thank you to Gay over at A Scientist in the Kitchen for tagging me for my first meme!

I owe an apology for taking so dirn long to get to it, but it came in my inbox while I was on Spring Break, and I didn't get to a computer for a whole week.

Anyhoo, here are my five lame things...

1. I have ridden in a Presidential motorcade.
2. In spite of my self proclaimed status as a foodie, I have an unexplainable love of velveeta cheese.
3. I HATE coconut.
4. I would love to travel, but really haven't done very much of it (unless you count moving 1700 miles from home).
5. I am phobic about recipes calling for yeast or requiring me to make a cake from scratch.

The rules of this Meme are as follows:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 5 facts about yourself.
3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment at their Blogs.

For this meme, I am tagging:

Diane at 1700 Miles of …

Presto Pasta Night Round-up is in!

Go on over here to view all the yummie pasta recipes for this week. This was the first time I participated, but it won't be the last!

Spring Break!!!'s finally Spring Break! Although- around here it actually feels more like Winter Break Part II- but I'll take a week off any way I can get it.

Dev and I are leaving in the morning and driving to Pagosa Springs, CO, to look around. We may stay the night, we may not. From there, we are driving to Montrose to spend some time with his parents.

I plan on doing much shopping and relaxing.

So- even though I'm taking my laptop to keep up with the picture downloads, I may not be able to blog regularly (or at all). If it turns out I can't blog, I promise to catch you up on posts and pics the nanosecond I get back.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Stay Tuned....

For the link to the Presto Pasta Roundup from "Once Upon a Feast." The mastermind behind this great weekly event gave me permission to use the graphic from her sight, so here it is:

She will be posting the round up this afternoon, and I'll check back and put the link here. Or- feel free to toddle on over and check it out yourself.

Conversations With Kids

This is a conversation I had with one of my students today. We are waiting at the door for the second bus to arrive, so I can walk them out.

Student (standing with hands stuffed in her sleeves- using an odd unidentifiable accent)- "I am karate grand champion!"
Me (in an equally odd accent)- "Patience young grasshopper"- as I assume my best ninja pose and wave my hand in her face.
(Student looks at me like I'm from Mars)
Me- "Haven't you ever heard that before? That's a line from a really famous karate movie!
Student- "You're weird."
Me- "Yeah, but weird's good, isn't it?"
Student- "No- it's just weird."

Creamy Polenta and Mushroom Ragout

IMG_1117, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. I really need to buy some plates that aren't white. Everything I make looks all washed out when I try to get a good shot for the blog.

In all honesty, I think whoever blogged this recipe originally must have photoshopped the hell out of the pic I saw of this. There is no way a sauce made with red wine and cream can be anything other than purple.

And I wish I knew to whom to credit this recipe. When I first started my recipe database, I neglected to record where I got the recipe. I have since diligently recorded which blogs I pillage. Anyhoo, if anyone knows who's recipe this is, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due. And believe me, this is sooooooo yummie.

I started by defrosting 2 chicken breasts and beating them senseless with my meat mallet until they were cutlet thin. I then dredged them in a beaten egg (mixed with some hot sauce) and breaded them with panko (mixed with my dad's version of Emeril Laga…

Just Another Lovely Spring Day in the Valley

IMG_1115, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. Last Saturday was absolutely gorgeous. It was the first day since before Thanksgiving that I went out without a jacket on. It was sunny, and there wasn't a single cloud in the sky. I allowed myself to think, just for a fraction of a second, that Spring might be right around the corner.
Silly, silly me.
Sunday morning we awoke to howling winds and sideways snow fall. Crap. Why oh why are we teased mercilessly???
Same thing happened this week. Tuesday was beautiful. It was warm and most of the snow had melted. Out on playground duty, I didn't have to yell at kids to stay off the ice. Then Wednesday lowered the boom again. Out on playground duty, it was snowing. Double crap.
Now I'm sitting here, catching up on all my blogging, and I'm watching snow falling at an alarming rate. The only upside of this is that perhaps it will blizzard all night long and get me out of JURY DUTY tomorrow. Yeah, I know.....

A Regular Monday Night at the Love Shack

IMG_1114, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. Yep. This is what we looked like Monday night after stuffing ourselves crazy with gouda macaroni and cheese and watching the season opener of "Top Gear" on BBC America. Sometimes I have to pinch myself.......


I can't believe it....

This evenng, as I was reading through the 287 blogs to which I subscribe, I came across one of my pics on another blog- and it was actually credited to me!


Go here to check it out. Holy crap.

Gouda Mac and Cheese

IMG_1102, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. Dev loves gouda cheese.
We had a hunk of it in our fridge.
So...I decided to make mac and cheese out of it.
Unfortunately, I wasn't going by a recipe, so I can't tell you exactly how I did it. I can give you a blow by blow, but that's about it.
I started by sauteeing an onion in olive oil and butter (if I had to guess at amounts, I'd say maybe a couple of tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil). Oh- and I started boiling the elbow pasta. I boiled about half a pound of pasta for 8 minutes, then drained it.
Back at the cheese sauce...
After the onions had softened (about maybe 5 minutes), I added flour. How much? I have no idea- maybe a quarter cup? I let it cook like a roux for about 5 minutes. I added a little salt and a few drops of hot sauce at this point. I had managed to eek 2 cups of dairy liquid out of my fridge- I had about 1/2 cup of 2% milk, about 1 cup of half and half and maybe 1/2 cup of white wine. …

Menu for March 1-6

Saturday (March 1)- Lasagne
Sunday (March 2)- Roast Chicken with Gouda Mac and Cheese
Monday (March 3)- Chicken Quesadillas with Salad
Tuesday (March 4)- Leftovers
Wednesday (March 5)- Pork Chops with Mushroom Ragout Polenta
Thursday (March 6)- Leftovers
Friday- out


I love tea.

I love hot tea. I love sweetened ice tea.

The problem is I shouldn't really drink tea. I have had kidney stones in the past and my doctor has told me (several times) I shouldn't drink it because of the tannic(sp) acid. I also shouldn't drink caffeinated tea because my body tends to be very sensitive to caffeine and it makes it difficult for me to sleep.

So I switched to decaf tea. But then I started reading about the methods companies use to decaffeinate tea- many chemicals- that can't be good. I don't know a lot about it, but it seems to me I'm doing more harm than good by drinking massive quantities of commercially decaffeinated tea.

So that leads me to green tea. I have no idea if green tea contains caffeine. I hope it doesn't, because my doctor seems happy with me switching to it. I am even considering making ice tea out of it, although that might be slightly costly.

I don't think I could ever completely go without tea. But if the green tea t…

Cheese Making

IMG_1100, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. This is a pic of the lasagne I'm making for tonight's dinner.
Dev was hard at work all day, making mozzarella and ricotta to make this dinner possible.
I have noticed a few differences between home made moz. and store bought moz. On the positive side, home made moz. has more flavor, and is much less rubbery. On the negative side, it doesn't melt the same way store bought does. It doesn't really melt and spread. I think this may mean we need to knead it more during the processing, or perhaps there is something else we could do. If anyone out there is familiar with making moz. and would like to offer some suggestions, I'm all ears.