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Showing posts from January, 2009

Fish Pajama Pants

Can you believe I made those fish pajama pants all by myself?? I can't even believe it. Of course, if you look closely at them, it looks like a drunk person sewed all the seams. And I promise I wasn't drunk. I just can't sew!

Here's a close up of the fish flannel...

Cute, huh?

And how about that manly pose? I'm sure GQ will be contacting me shortly, wanting to sign Dev for a modeling gig.

Up next? Dev's been bugging me to make him a digital cammo apron....

Gouda Beer Bread

Looks good, huh?

I read this recipe in an issue of "Cooks Illustrated" magazine. The original recipe called for gruyere cheese, but I had gouda in the ice box...and it worked just fine.

The recipe is amazingly simple and the results were spectacular.

All I did was take a chunk of gouda (about 8 ounces), grated half of it and cut the other half into small chunks. I mixed the cheese with 3 cups of AP flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, about a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of black pepper, 2 teaspoons of baking powder. Then I dumped a 12 ounce beer in it. I used Harvest Wheat, but even cheap beer would work. The beer needs to be lighter, because the fuller flavored beers might make the bread bitter. After mixing everything together, I dumped it in a loaf pan and poured 1/2 a stick of melted butter over the top. It baked in a 375 degree oven for about 50 minutes. After about 5 minutes out of the oven I took it out of the pan and let it cool on a rack. I only made it about 10 mi…

Roast Pork for dinner!

For dinner tonight, I roasted a pork loin.

I couldn't believe how well it turned out!

The process could not have been any easier. I took it out about half an hour before I wanted to start cooking it, and rubbed it all over with Penzey's Chicago Seasoning. After it sat for 30 minutes, I seared it on all sides in an oven proof skillet in some olive oil and put it in a 375 degree oven until the internal temp reached 145 degrees. I took it out and tented it for 10 minutes while I prepared the rest of the meal.

It was juicy and perfectly seasoned...and will make killer sandwiches for school this week!

Claudinia's Restaurant- A Review

This weekend, Dev and I sauntered on over to Claudinia's Restaurant. It is, after all, right down the street from our apartment.

Claudinia's is located on Highway 285, right down from the Family Dollar store.

The restaurant has only been open about a week, so bear in mind that there may be a few kinks to work out.

Here is the sign for the restaurant...

They really need to clean up around the outside of the restaurant. The location is good- right off Highway 285...but right now it looks like a dump. There is trash all over the place, and the parking lot is almost completely taken up by a used RV. I would imagine some people will be put off by the way it looks.

The inside is nice and clean, and doesn't reek of grease anymore. Dev and I had been in one other time before (when it was one of the other seventy restaurants that have been there since we moved here) and the whole place reeked of old grease. So, kudos for eliminating that.

The owner and her two daughters were workin…

The Fresh Tortilla Company

One of the things I gripe about here in Alamosa is our lack of options for dining out. I know this isn't a huge problem for us, because I enjoy cooking. But I also enjoy eating out (especially cuisines I'm not equipped well enough to cook at home).

So you can imagine my joy about the 2 new restaurants that have opened here in the last month or two.

I already wrote my piece about the Thai House. Now I'll bend your ears about the Fresh Tortilla Company.

I'm assuming this is a chain outfit. I'm not sure why I assume this- other than the way the menu looks. The only way we knew it was there was because Dev was over having copies made at the office supply store down the street, and he was accosted in the parking lot by some young chics waving menus in his face. I guess in a college town, this is effective advertising...well I know it was because we ate there that night... :) I got sucked in by the promise of a free churro with the purchase of any meal. Damn those…

The Thai House

We have a new restaurant here in town called the Thai House. Dev and I visited one of the first nights (if not the first night) it was open. Of course, I didn't have my camera with me, so I don't have any pics- but when I go back (and I will)- there will be photo documentation.

The Thai House is located on Main Street, in the same block and on the same side of the street as Milagros.

One of the owners greated us when we walked in. He took us up to the front, but then reconsidered because they were working on their sign out front and the door would be opening and closing frequently (and it was cold outside). I thought that was very nice.

Because I am a curious person, and because I had to get the scoop on this place, I asked the man who seated us who the owner was. He told us he was one of the owners, along with his business partner. Apparently the guy I talked to is a local. He and his business partner own (or owned) several other Thai restaurants in Kansas. He speaks Tha…

Pesticide Loads

Here in Alamosa, we have a local food cooperative called the Valley Food Co-op. The Co-op publishes a newsletter you can pick up when you are in for your weekly herbal tea,spice and goat cheese shopping.

The Winter 2008 edition of the newsletter had a list on the back cover showing the "USDA Pesticide Ranking List." It looks like a list of fruits and veggies and their "pesticide load." I'm not sure exactly what that means, but it seems to me the things highest on the list (or with the highest loads) would be better purchased organic, because somehow more pesticides are transmitted through them. Perhaps it is because of thin skin (avocados are pretty near the bottom and they have tough skins). The highest thing on the list is peaches, with a pesticide load of 100. The rest of the top ten includes apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, cherries, pears, imported grapes, spinach and lettuce.

I suppose I should do a bit more sleuthing around to find ou…


socks, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. My first attempt at socks. It is not going well. It has taken forever to get this far. I ripped it out about 8 times, just trying to get the round joined on the double pointed needles. My rib pattern is also messed up, but I swear it would kill me to rip it out again!
Part of the problem is the double points. I am used to knitting on huge needles, so using size 3 needles is like knitting with toothpicks. And using so many needles at once is difficult, because I'm a spaz.
I will finish the socks, because it is a matter of principle. But I'm not sure I will become a sock person. Perhaps I will stick to rectangular nad square things... :)

Sari Silk

sari silk, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. Here is more yarn from my buying frenzy this morning.

This is called Sari Silk, because it is made from recycled Sari fabric. The resulting yarn is irregular and varies greatly in thickness. I am using size 15 needles to knit it into a thin scarf (as you see in the pic). I may have to go pick up another hank, as the work you see constitutes half of the first hank.

This is such fun to work with...I may be hooked on non-traditional fibers!

Sale Yarn!!

sale yarn, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. I have become quite the yarn hound. I suppose that is a logical by product of knitting.
My friend Kim owns a yarn shop here in town, The Yarn Gallery, and I went over to help her move into her new digs this morning. She is now located in the Memory Lane scrapbooking store.
We spent the morning putting yummie yarn in bins at her new shop. It was inevitable that I'd start making a pile of orphan yarn balls to take home with me.
These 3 really spoke to me. The pink one because it is so impossibly soft and fuzzy. The two blue-green ones because I thought it would be neat to knit them together into a scarf or a hat. Who knows? Sometimes you just buy yarn because it calls to you.

Broccoli-Cheddar-Pepper Jack Quiche

broccoli quiche, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. I love broccoli and I love quiche. I love them even more together. I have made this quiche at least a thousand times (with several variations). I use frozen broccoli, whatever cheese I have left in the fridge (this time it was a bit of cheddar, pepper jack and romano), and my basic quiche base (2 cups cream, 4 eggs, hot sauce, nutmeg, salt and pepper).
I like this because it is so versatile. We ate it for dinner Thursday night, lunch on Friday and breakfast this morning.
I should just keep a quiche in the fridge all the time. :)

Onion Rings!

homemade onion rings, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. This was my first attempt at home made onion rings. I got the idea watching Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics on Foodtv.
Basically, I just cut a yellow onion into thin slices, soaked them in buttermilk and hot sauce for about 15 minutes, then dredged them in a mixture of flour, corn meal, salt and pepper. They fried for about 1 minute per batch.
I was very satisfied with the result, and they were delicious on my turkey burger. But my gosh, what a mess they make in the kitchen. I think I will have to experiment with a baking method. Maybe then I can justify having them more often!

Tuesday Dinner...

pasta, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. Tonight's dinner. Dev and I had gone to exercise at the Rec Center, and when we got home, this was about all I could manage...
Bowtie pasta tossed with sundried tomato and regular pesto, toasted pine nuts, romano cheese and fresh ground black pepper, served with a piece of Dev's home made bread run under the broiler with a kiss of organic olive oil. This was my bowl, so I added some goat cheese as well.

Turkey Remix Part 2

potpie2, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. This was dinner. I put every single thing in the ice box into this potpie. Chicken, turkey, dressing, carrots, onions, celery, corn...everything.

And it was good. :)

Snowy Sunday

We have been so lazy lately. This morning we lolled around in the bed until almost 10am. I don't remember the last time we did that....although maybe it was yesterday. But hey- we're on vacation! We awakened to the snow that had fallen last night, and the flakes still coming down.

I made potato pancakes with the leftovers from last night's dinner (see this post for the recipe). Then we sat at the table, talking and drinking our beverages (Dev had his coffee and I had my new yerba mate tea) for quite a long time.

I went to the library yesterday and scored several really good books to read. I checked out "Like Water For Chocolate," "Small Wonder," and "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim." I am especially anxious to read the Kingsolver and the Sedaris. I love both of these authors.

I will try to remember to post some thoughts about the books as I finish them. I got about a quarter of the way through "Small Wonders" last night…

Dinner on AutoPilot

dinner, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. So this is what tonight's dinner looked like...very basic...very satisfying...very fly by the seat of my pants.

Dinner was the byproduct of a strange state of affairs in my kitchen.

Under normal circumstances, I'll sit down at some point during the weekend and map out what I want to have for dinners over the next week. I go to the store and get what I need, then go with the flow. In spite of all my planning, at some point during the day on Monday, I will be sitting in the library (probably reading the same story for the 4th or 5th time) and think to myself, "Dammit- I forgot to take out the chicken/pork/beef I needed for dinner tonight." Thus derailing my carefully strategized meal.

Friday I decided this was no longer going to happen to me. I took out one pound of ground turkey (to be used for dinner that night), one pound of ground pork (to be used for breakfast sausage making activities) and 2 packages of bone-in c…

For Diane....

dev socks, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. Never let it be said that I don't follow instructions well.

Turkey Remix Part One

turkey poblano corn chowder, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. What do you do with leftover turkey???

I'm figuring that out as I try to use up the gallon zip lock bag of turkey Dev's Mom sent us home with after Christmas.

I don't really like turkey. But so far I've found ways to use it that have turned out really well. Take this soup, for example.

It's actually based on a Paula Deen recipe for Chicken Poblano Chowder. I just subbed turkey for the chicken and added a few other ingredients. The soup is easy to make and it tastes even better the next day.

Here's what I did...

I chopped up a small onion, 2 stalks of celery, 2 onions, 2 carrots and one medium sized poblano pepper. I sauteed them in olive oil in my dutch oven for about 10 minutes. I added a tablespoon or so of chicken gravy mix (the recipe called for chicken boullion, but I hate that stuff), then deglazed the pan with a little bit of white wine. Then came half a bunch of chopped fresh cilan…

Perfectly Premium Potato Pancakes

potato pancakes, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. We love mashed potatoes at our house. We love leftover mashed potatoes even better...because you can do all sorts of things with them.

My all time favorite way to use leftover mashed potatoes is to make potato pancakes.

There are millions of recipes for potato pancakes. I make them the way my parents used to.

Here's the way I do it:

I use about a cup and a half of mashed potatoes- although you can use as much or as little as you like. I warm them a bit to loosen them up, then mix in 1 large egg, about 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of Penzey's Greek Seasoning (optional- but oh so good), about a quarter of a cup of half and half or cream, then add enough buttermilk to give the batter the consistency you want. Taste the batter and add salt and pepper.

I cook them on an electric griddle that's been sprayed with cooking spray, but doing them in a cast iron skillet with butter is the ultimate.

Dev would eat thes…


Is it really 2009 already?? Geez. Although, to be honest, I'm not particularly sorry to see 2008 go. It's been a rough year.

I decided to copy my friend Diane's blog for my first post of 2009. She posted a list of 50 questions to answer for 2009. I have my answers here, but go on over to her new blog, Diane's Brain, to see hers. I actually skipped the one about the song lyric to sum up 2008. It's gonna take a me a little while to come up with that.

50 questions for the New Year

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
I tried yoga and knitting.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t think I made any last year (so I guess that means I didn’t follow them…). This year I am making a simple one….treat myself better

3. Did anyone you know give birth?
Yes- my friend Lisanne had a beautiful baby boy.

4. Did anyone you know die?
Yes- a lady who attends my knitting circle lost her husband in a tragic farming a…