I am so excited that I can finally post things from my iPhone- even pictures! I have been able to send short text message-like posts from my phone for a while, but I could never get pictures to work. I just finished downloading the Blogger App for the iPhone, and now I can post full length stuff with pics on the go!
I'm not sure that necessarily equals more posts on the blog, but it is definitely a step in the right direction!
Tonight I decided the women in the Witherington family needed to get out of the house for a while. We have been working hard the last few days, playing hostess to visiting friends and family in the aftermath of my Daddy's death. I wanted to go somewhere nice, but comfortable. And I wanted insanely good food. Boy, did I ever get what I asked for.
After much thought, I took my Momma and my niece-in-law, Sarah, to Blue Turtle Bistro. Jim, a friend of mine, is the manager, and I haven't been able to stop in during my last few visits home. Plus- I was a little afraid of going and not liking it- considering my friendship with Jim. I was such a silly goose for letting that keep me away!
We came in for an early dinner- in fact, we were the first ones there for dinner service that night. We were seated immediately (after a quick hug from Jim) and we ordered dinner drinks. I had a Reisling from the Washington state area, I don't remember the label, but it was very good. It…
This is a terrible picture. It makes my dinner look like spotted dog food. I promise it tasted really good, though. I seriously need to stop taking blog photos with my iPhone. I bought a really good camera to take food pics for the blog, and apparently have become too lazy to walk upstairs and get it. Bleck.
So this was a clean out the icebox kinda dinner. It is loosely based on a chicken divan recipe my ex mother in law used to make. Well, that's not really true, because I've never seen the recipe for the chicken divan. It kinda looked like it. Whatever.
Here's what I did...
I threw 2 cups of rice in my rice cooker (a birthday gift- more on that later). While it was festering away I did this...
I chopped half a yellow onion and threw it in a skillet with some olive oil. After a few minutes I threw in some sliced mushrooms (the end of a basket that was well on its way to science project status). After they colored a little, I added some leftover steamed brocco…
This was today's project. It's a big ole steamin' pot of Brunswick Stew. I'm sure lots of different people call it lots of different things, but where I'm from, it's Brunswick Stew.
I'm willing to bet this recipe came up the way most Southern recipes do- out of necessity. Someone had some leftover chicken or pork or beef from a Sunday roast and decided to do something different with it.
This particular version is a hybrid of a friend's mom's recipe and several other recipes I've seen on blogs over the years. I cobbled it together with what I had on hand. Well- technically that's a lie. I had the chicken, but I bought pulled pork specifically for this recipe. And yes, I realize that's a huge cheat, but I don't care.
The food club I belong to is meeting this Tuesday, and we decided that theme would be "Americana." Basically it was an excuse for each of us to
cook something from the region where we grew up. Being …
On Thai menus this is called Tom Kha Gai. It's always yummie, even when the restaurant doesn't get it quite right.
I found the recipe I used on the Food Network website. Most of you know I live out in the middle of nowhere, so there was no way I was going to be able to find galangal, or kefir lime leaves at my local grocery store. But I did find something called Gourmet Garden Thai Herb & Spice Blend. It's kind of like a paste. It has lemon grass, ginger, cilantro, garlic and chili peppers. So, in the recipe, when it calls for these ingredients, I used the paste. I substituted strips of lime zest for kefir lime leaves.
I know some people hate this time of year. Long, cold nights, short, cold days. Waking up in the dark and getting home from work in the dark. All these things can wear on a person.
But I guess I'm weird. I look forward to the long nights. The cold I'm not so crazy about, but around here, one goes hand in hand with the other. Why do I like this time of year? Because it's comfort food season. Almost all of the foods that I consider comforting are cold weather things- mostly because they take a long time to cook and tend to heat up the kitchen. This time of year, anything that heats a room in my house is a blessing. I love stews, braises, soups and roasted veggies- chicken and dumplings, shepherd's pie, gratins. All these yummie things take time and heat. And with nights as long as they are in the winter, BRING IT ON!!
We got some snow this weekend, and I couldn't wait to get in the kitchen. I made some oatmeal wheat bread, some cinnamon honey butter, som…
Yesterday, Dev and I were doing our regular Saturday errands (Target, Natural Grocers, Lowes, etc.) and we stopped for lunch at the Double Dog Pub. While sitting there, looking out the window, I noticed the bakery was open. Usually when we're in Glenwood, it's later in the afternoon during the week, and the bakery is closed. After settling our tab, we walked over to take a look at what Roaring Fork Bakery had to offer.
Dev saw the chocolate cheesecake right off the bat. So we ordered one slice and two spoons. Then he helped himself to a cup of coffee. While the lovely lady behind the counter was working on the cheesecake, I looked around in the case and spotted the chocolate croissants. Two of those went into the bag. Then there were home made dog biscuits for .50 a piece, so Bear got a treat as well. After another look around, we saw a beautiful loaf of nine grain bread. After asking whether or not it contained Rye (Dev is not a big fan of Rye at all), it jumped int…
So we had a light lunch today, because we're going to have taco soup for dinner (hopefully pretty early).
This is a piece of 9 grain bread with some "Moody Blue" cheese, dribbled with a little bit of honey from the Savannah Bee Company. I got the bread and the cheese from Roaring Fork Bakery. You will hear more about them, later.
This was a very satisfying lunch. Kinda fancy, but at its heart, very comforting.
Since I've been on a cupcake decorating kick lately, it seemed logical to practice my new hobby on my class at school.
Once again, I didn't make the cupcakes or the frosting. I figure I don't want to put all that work into them if I'm not confident they will come out. And I'm FAR from confident about my cake decorating abilities.
I ordered some more cool things from "Cupcake Social" and they arrived on Wednesday, so I was ready to go!
For the kids I did mini cupcakes in double chocolate cake with dark chocolate fudge frosting. I used the smaller star tip and then put candy corn and sprinkles on each little cupcake.
For the big people in our building, I made regular sized cupcakes (same combo) then used candy corn and colored dusting sugar.
These pics aren't the greatest. I really need to stop taking blog pictures with my iPhone and start using my big girl camera again. These pics make them look like chocolate cupcakes with poo and candy corn on t…
When I was little, my mom signed up to take a cake decorating class at a local bakery. I'm pretty sure it was sponsored by Wilton. I remember her baking a cake each week to take with her to class, and I remember she always came home with a decorated cake- which we (my sister and I) got to eat. It was cool for the first few weeks, but after that- we all kinda burned out on cake icing.
I always had great birthday cakes. I remember the required barbie cakes (the ones with the real doll top and the cake part was a huge hoop skirt), the character cakes (for some reason I remember Big Bird and Strawberry Shortcake) and zillions of other cakes my mom made for other kids at school.
When I got to high school, I used all of mom's equipment to make birthday cakes for all the members of Duran Duran. I still kinda remember all the birthdays. I think Simon Le Bon is next in early December.
When I moved away, I took all my mom's cake decorating stuff with me. She doesn't do it…
I was reading my blogs last night before I went to bed and saw that Angry Chicken had posted a "Dutch Boy" recipe. I've heard of these before...some people call them German pancakes, or oven pancakes. I guess I just assumed they were too much work to bother with. Well, according to this post it's not difficult at all. I had all the ingredients- butter, flour, eggs, milk. And I had a large cast iron skillet. So I threw caution to the wind and decided to give it a try.
As it turns out, it really wasn't difficult at all. It was almost too easy. And mine came out just like the picture (which NEVER happens to me). I have only 1 criticism. I really think it is too bland. The recipe does not call for any salt (although I did make the conscious decision to use salted butter). It tasted like a creme puff without the creme. Syrup didn't help much. But at lunch I found this recipe's true calling. I tore the remaining half pancake into 2 halves and fi…
We were busy this weekend! We were kinda stumped over what to do with the stairway in our new house. There's a huge blank wall, and we don't own enough pictures (or the right types) to fill this space.
While wandering around in the blogosphere a few months ago, I came across a post on a design blog about ledge shelves. I loved the way they looked, plus I figured it was way better than putting 50 nails in the wall to hang all those pictures individually. Not to mention, trying to hang them all straight!
Fast forward a few months and we're ready to tackle decorating the stairway. I remembered the pictures, and showed them to Dev. One trip to the hardware store and a few hours in the garage, and he made me these. He built them a few weekends ago, and I painted them this weekend. I haven't had a chance to spray paint all the frames, but I wanted to see what they'd look like, so I dug out our pictures and threw them up. Even haphazardly arranged, I think they…
I just found this cute little survey on Oh So Lovely, a blog I read often. I thought I'd answer the questions and post them here. I will even go so far as to copy her and say if you post answers to these questions, link me to them in the comments so I can check them out!
A. Age: 42
B. Bed Size: Full
C. Chore that you hate: Cleaning the Bathroom!
D. Dogs: I have one big dog named Bear
E. Essential start to your day: Something just short of an atomic explosion- I'm not a morning person!
F. Favorite color: Garnet
G. Gold or Silver: Silver
H. Height: 5'4"
I. Instruments you play: Piano
J. Job Title: 8th grade Literacy teacher, but I sometimes wish it was full time blogger!
K. Kids: Did I mention we have a big dog?
L. Live: Colorado
M. Mother's name: Louise
N. Nicknames: Gertie (given to me by my Daddy) Mimi is actually a nickname- my real name is Mary
O. Overnight hospital stays: None!
P. Pet Peeves: Seriously? I'm a teacher...I …
We finally bit the bullet and purchased a grill. After several months of research, Dev decided on a CharBroil Red. The flames don't actually touch the food. It has some kind of cast iron shield that conducts the heat, but doesn't allow flare ups.
Anyhoo- alls I know is that it has made some good food for us lately.
First, I threw some ordinary quesadillas on. They came out slightly charred, crispy and delicious! The next test was pizza. Again, the crust was nicely charred and crispy.
Tonight I marinated some mahi in a soy, olive oil mixture and put it on. It turned out really well. I rounded the meal out with some zucchini fritters and grilled onions and mushrooms. I only took one picture, and it was pretty awful. That's what happens when you try to take a picture of your plate while you're walking out the door with it!
Strawberry Banana Bread
1 ½ c. sifted flour
2/3 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
½ t. salt
¾ c. quick-cooking oats
1/3 c. oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ c. strawberries, mashed
½ c. bananas, mashed
¼ c. almonds, diced
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar,
baking powder and salt; stir in the oats.
Add the oil, eggs, strawberries, banana and almonds, stirring just until
no dry ingredients show.
Turn into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 for one hour or til toothpick comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes, then turn out of pan to
I found this recipe on a blog before I became aware of Pinterest. So, as usual, I copied the recipe, but not the blog it came from. If someone recognizes this recipe, please let me know so I can give credit to whoever posted it first! Now that I use Pinterest when I find things on the web, I always know who my source was. If you find lots of ideas on the internet and want a way to keep them organized, you should look …
In this bowl I have chopped.....mint, oregano, chives, basil and parsley. I softened a stick of butter, mixed them all in and put them it in a small glass container with a lid.
I always use salted butter to make compound butters. I know most people say not to, but I find that it makes for a more flavorful butter. Sometimes I'm not great at guessing how much salt I should use, and using already salted butter lets me worry about something else.
I'm roasting potatoes and carrots to go with some pork chops tonight. This butter will go well on the veggies and the meat.
Fresh herb time will soon be over here in Colorado. It's time for me to start coming up with ways to use larger quantities of herbs as I harvest for the last time.
On this board I have chives (used this morning for herbed cream cheese and butter), mint (used for making simple syrup for iced tea, herbed butter and canteloupe sorbet) and parsley (also used in herbed butter and pork chops).
So this morning, after our lovely ham and cheddar scrambled egg breakfast, I made a list of the projects I'd like to do for the day.
This yummie cream cheese was on the list. When I was making my scrambled eggs this morning, I used the last of a container of chive-onion flavored cream cheese. As I was putting the container in the recycle bin, I looked at the ingredients list. It had way more on it than cream cheese, chives and onions. It suddenly hit me that I have a whole herb garden (and chives are one of my most successful pots) and I never use them to make things like flavored cream cheeses. I vowed then and there never to buy flavored cream cheese again. From now on- I'll make my own, using far more wholesome ingredients.
My first go at it was this chive-citrus cream cheese. I had half of an 8oz. bar of cream cheese already in the ice box, so I took it out to soften it up. Meanwhile, I headed out and gave my chive plant one last good haircut. The weather here i…
So this morning I wanted something very comforting for breakfast. Because of the significance of the day, I wanted a good breakfast, so I could spend the rest of the day being thankful for the people I love.
I decided to do some simple scrambled eggs. Devin loves scrambled eggs. I actually prefer fried or poached eggs, but it seems silly to cook eggs two different ways for one meal, I usually just eat scrambled as well.
I think I've mentioned this before, but I am very fortunate to have a family down the street from me that keeps chickens. They usually get more eggs than they can use. My husband taught their daughter when she was in 5th grade, so she brings a dozen eggs down once a week or so. I love it! Once you've started using fresh eggs, the ones from the store pale in comparison.
So there really is no recipe for this. I scrambled 4 eggs with a splash of milk, salt and pepper and a dash of sri racha sauce. The sauce doesn't make the eggs spicy, it just adds a…
Tonight my friend Kari came over for dinner. She is my tech-yoda, and we have a great system set up where I feed her and she helps me stay up with the latest and greatest in technology. I decided to make chicken pot pie tonight, because I saw a really cool looking pastry crust recipe I wanted to try, and chicken pot pie is one of the best crust-related dishes I know.
I found the crust recipe at Closet Cooking. Here's a link to the recipe. I followed the instructions exactly, and it came out beautifully.
For the filling, I totally winged it. It was one of those ice box cleaner-outer kinda things. I started by poaching 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs in white wine, chicken stock and water. I strained the broth out and saved it to make the sauce. I put the chicken on a plate in the ice box to cool so I could chop it. I used the same pot and heated a few tablespoons of olive oil. I dropped half a chopped white onion, some diced carrot, and some diced new potatoes in. I…
Dev and I headed to Montrose for Labor Day. On Sunday, Dev and I joined his mom, his Uncle George and Aunt Lou, and Larry (a family friend) on a 4 wheeler trip to Animas Forks in the San Juan Mountains. I took about a million pictures (as soon as I get them all uploaded to flickr, I'll let you know). I thought I'd put at least one here.
My souvenir from this trip was a nasty sunburn. Apparently the sun is even more dangerous at 13,000 feet.
So Dev and I have been busy tackling the millions of projects we need to do in our new house. The very first one was making a pantry for my teensy little kitchen. We decided to use the space in the closet under the stairs. I don't have a before picture, but I do have some afters.
Oh, and please ignore the goldish yellow horrid paint. It's gone now. That was the second project.
but school started back, so that kinda explains why I haven't posted in a while.
Tomorrow is Friday, so hopefully I'll get in the kitchen this weekend and come up with some stuff to post about. This week, believe me, nothing we've eaten is blog-worthy (unless you dig cheerios and store-bought blueberry muffins).
Tonight, I was feeling a little down and icky, so I decided to use some of my stash of leftover mashed potatoes to make potato soup. I've never done that before, but after finishing my experiment, I think it will be my go-to potato soup method from now on.
So- I chopped up half a medium Vidalia onion and sauteed it in my soup pan over medium heat. I used a mixture of a little butter, a little olive oil and a little bacon drippings. Butter- because I love the richness and texture it adds to creamy soups. Olive oil- because it has a high smoking point and I always use it for sautéing. Bacon drippings because they give great flavor and it's just what you're supposed to do when making potato soup. Period.
After the onions had been going a few minutes, I added about 2 cups of the leftover mashed potatoes and stirred them around until they were soft and heated through- probably 5 minutes or so. Then I poured in enough unsalted chi…
One of the few dishes Devin ever requests is potato pancakes. There are probably as many recipes and techniques for making them as there are people who like them. In my family, we always use leftover mashed potatoes, instead of grated potatoes. I have all ideas we do that because the first time my Daddy ever made them, he was trying to use up leftover mashed potatoes- and we liked them so much he continued making them that way. Fast forward 30 or 40 years, and I'm making them the same way.
I basically tweak my buttermilk pancake recipe, which was given to me by Devin's mother. I start by nuking (normal people probably just call it microwaving) however much mashed potatoes I have leftover (or however much I want to dedicate to breakfast). This loosens them and makes them easier to mix with the other ingredients. I add 2 eggs, about a teaspoon of baking soda, a little salt, a little pepper and enough buttermilk to make it all soupy. Then the judgement call comes in. Yo…
I should start a series on 100 things to do with leftover mashed potatoes. I'm betting if I really put my mind to it, I could come up with almost that many things.
Whenever I make mashed potatoes I ALWAYS make more than I need. Around my house, the leftovers are more sought after than the original dish- the same thing happens with lasagna. Anyhoo....
My basic recipe for mashed potatoes hardly ever changes. I peel however many russet potatoes I think I'll need. This particular time we were having a guest for dinner, so I bought 4 really large russets. I fill my spaghetti pot (I think normal people call them stock pots) with water and put it over high heat. I throw in 4 whole bay leaves and 2 or 3 peeled and smashed cloves of garlic. I cut the potatoes in largish chunks and put them in the water. I bring the whole thing to a calm boil, throw in some salt, and let it go for about 20 minutes.
Now, if I'm feeling lazy, I'll just drain the potatoes, pick out the ba…
Photo for day 2....what I wore. Because of the continual effort to reduce the box farm I'm being forced to live in, my outfit today was filthy by the time I got around to taking a picture. Therefore, I decided to spare you, dear reader, from the traumatic experience of seeing it. But here it is, safely tucked away in the dirty clothes hamper.
Ugh! I HATE moving. I despise it. Especially in the hottest part of the summer.
We're finally all moved in. Now we are surrounded by boxes. My kitchen and pantry are almost set, and as soon as that's done, I will be able to function.
To further my attempt to become a better blogger, I've decided to participate in a little blogging event. It's really a blog photography challenge, so I'll hopefully improve my skills along the way. The event is being hosted by Sherry over at Oh So Lovely.
Each day, for the entire month of August, I will post a different picture. I'm already a few days behind, so tonight I'm hoping to catch up. This should help me keep up with my promise to post more often.
After several disappointments, Dev and I finally closed on our forever home!
We signed our lives away at 1:00pm today. I shouldn't complain, because we got an amazing deal on this house, and I can't wait to get busy making it into our first home.
After purchasing a new washer and dryer, we came back to town and loaded up a few tools and the dog, then headed over to do a few things.
Dev changed the lock on the front door and tinkered with the crawl space vents, while I roamed all over the house, thinking about paint colors and furniture placement.
I'll try to take my good camera over tomorrow and take some better "before" pictures.
The former owners had very....colorful taste. Most of the house is mustard yellow. The kitchen is bright purple, the guest bath and 2 of the bedrooms are lime green. It will be fun to see the progress as it becomes "our" space.
The poor yard has suffered severe neglect. The grass is all dead, and the shrubs have had no pru…
So I still have quite a few packages of pork in my freezer from when we bought half a pig last year. I took out some pork chops the other day and decided to see what I could do with them.
Firstly, I decided to brine them. I've read quite a bit about brining meat (especially pork), and if it keeps the meat moist, I'm all for it. To me, one of the worst things in the culinary world is a dry pork chop.
I didn't really measure, but I put a handful of kosher salt in the bottom of a tupperware container, then laid in my 4 chops, then added water until the chops were covered. I stirred it around, sealed it up and left it for 24 hours.
The next day I took out the chops, rinsed and dried them, then rubbed them with olive oil and salt and pepper. I put them to the side to come up to room temp and turned my attention to a glaze. I love pork chops with a sweet element.
I had a jar of fig preserves in the ice box, so I put a few tablespoons of that in a small saucepan, then adde…
As the summer come to a close, things around here are really heating up.
We are still hoping to move at the end of this month, so we're thinking about packing. Thinking. We're not actually doing it yet. I think part of our hesitation is the possibility of the closing not happening. We have had such weird luck during our search for a house, I don't think we'll believe it's happening until someone hands us some keys and takes all our money.
I have been cooking quite a bit, and I have a few posts that I'm working on. It's after midnight, though, so I think I'm going to bed.
We just got back from our short trip to Montrose to visit Dev's Mom. It was a quiet weekend, but not without its firsts.... I attended my first ever bull riding event. I only took a few pics because I was using my iPhone, which I have not yet figured out how to zoom, so the pics aren't that great.
Until I get around to writing up the post (hopefully tomorrow afternoon), here's a pretty sunset pic I took at Harvey Gap last week on one of our afternoon fishing trips....