bluesilverkdg: (Default)
Wishing a great big happy birthday to my best friend in the world, [livejournal.com profile] headbanger118 .

I threw her a little party on Saturday. She got a gift from [livejournal.com profile] captainsblog and [livejournal.com profile] plantmom that was a very nice surprise!



Hilarity always ensues. Always.



Singing "Happy Birthday", whilst Terri cuts the cake.




I was actually there! That's [livejournal.com profile] nonspecific in the kittycathat.




It's a birthday cut. )

Yum-OH!

Dec. 11th, 2009 05:50 pm
bluesilverkdg: (Veggies)
I've not shared a recipe that I invented in a while, so I'll give y'all one. It's good if you like spicy vegetarian-type soups. And, as with all my make-believe recipes, you can totally modify it to fit your needs and taste.

3-4 potatoes, diced
3-4 stalks of celery, cut into bite-sized slices
One can Rotel tomatoes and chilis
Tomato juice (as much or little as you like)
Can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans, drained and washed)

Spices: I use the following, because I have and like them, but feel free to use whatever you like. Garlic powder, no-salt seasoning, cayenne pepper powder, powdered ginger, oregano, cumin, curry powder, turmeric. From the Indian grocery store, I use Garam Masala, but chances are good you may not have that one on hand unless you do a lot of Indian cooking.

I make a "broth" of the spices and boiling water, and cook the potatoes and celery until they're tender. At that point, add in the Rotel tomatoes, tomato juice (I use my mom's tomato juice that she cans from the garden, but store-bought would be fine, I'm sure), and chickpeas. Add a dash more seasoning if you like and let it simmer an hour or so.


That's it! It's pretty spicy, with the Rotels, the ginger, cayenne, etc. But if you had a stuffy nose or cold, this stuff would totally rock and I'm sure, cure what ails'ya.
bluesilverkdg: (Default)
Time for my once-weekly update, I suppose. I really want to write more, and I intend to, but right now it's just not really practical. So, there ya go.

If you're on my Facebook, which I think a whole bunch of you are, you'll see two things that are either going on or have gone on. Last night, I got to see the Decemberists in Asheville with [livejournal.com profile] samuraigrrrl, [livejournal.com profile] nonspecific, and [livejournal.com profile] aikigrrl.
To say that they were amazing would be an understatement. If you like them or have considered liking them, I would highly recommend checking them out if possible. I was a little disappointed at the beginning, because they just came out and launched right into The Hazards Of Love, their latest CD...and they didn't stop. They literally played the whole CD from beginning to end, from what I could tell. I *like* the new CD just fine, but I wanted to hear some old stuff (I always want to hear "old stuff", no matter who I go to see.) But no need for me to have worried...they came back out after about a 15 minute intermission and basically did like a whole 'nother set of older songs, covers (Crazy On You by Heart, for example) and just basically jammed and improvised for a bit. At one point, Colin, the lead singer came down the aisle right beside me. I could've reached out and grabbed him, but I was not aggressive enough. Others were not so shy. He sat down in the audience, then went walking through the crowd back to the stage. They seemed to have a genuinely fun time playing together and the audience was really into it (notsomuch the security guard sitting at the bottom of the stage, who looked like he'd have much rather been at a rap concert. Or a monster truck show.) If you like the Decemberists or have any inclination to check them out, this guy caught the whole show in halfway decent quality. http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=04237BA740200C97

So that was last night.

Before that, my dad and I took my mom out to eat for her birthday (she's now officially 62..one step closer to Social Security!) We had a lovely meal, but her big surprise is tomorrow. I'm getting ready to head out to the grocery store to shop for her birthday shindig, that she doesn't know is happening. I'm gonna stay at the cabin tonight, then get up at the crack of dawn to start cooking in the morning for her dinner, and I've somehow, yet again, managed to pull off a big birthday surprise. Or at least I have thus far. It's not happened yet, and there's every possibility that she could still blow it, but hopefully not.

Oh, I took my dad's Navy peacoat to the cleaners this week. It looks fabulous, and with the exception of a few very small holes (moth bites probably), it looks practically new. For the first time in...um, ever..I'm actually kind of looking forward to cold weather, because I will hopefully be warm this winter, instead of my usual shivering, sniveling self. Otherwise, this was an incredibly stressful week. I've got a lot going on that I wish was not going on, decisions to make that I don't really want to have to deal with, and I'll update about it later, but that's for another post. For now, I have schoolwork to do, groceries to buy and parties to plan.

I leave you with the Henna Harem in the parking garage at the Civic Center in Asheville... Kara ([livejournal.com profile] nonspecific), Lillie ([livejournal.com profile] samuraigrrrl) me and Melody ([livejournal.com profile] aikigrrl). All hennaheads, all different, yet equally lovely shades of red, which is pretty darned awesome.

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bluesilverkdg: (Default)
I haven't done a food post in a while, so let's have some fresh veggies, shall we?

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These lovelies came out of our garden. Just picked them on Saturday. Mom and I canned marinara, salsa and tomato juice allllll day long. The gorgeous green tomato on the lefthand side is not your typical green tomato! It's called a Granny Smith, and much like the apple it's named after, it's mostly tart with just a touch of sweetness. They do not ripen, but will eventually get sort of a yellowish tinge, and are specifically for frying and grilling. We tried some on the grill Saturday and Oh. My. God. mouthgasm! Brush a little olive oil on them, salt and pepper...good eatin'! They're very firm, but soften nicely when grilled or cooked.
The yellow tomatoes are called Limmony and they're very good for canning and sauces, as they're meaty and don't have a lot of seeds or juice, but I think they're perfectly fine for just eating straight up.
The pink tomatoes are my absolute favorites ever, German Johnsons. They're sweet, juicy and positively melt in your mouth. I've never found a better tomato for just eating by themselves, although I'm sure they'd be great on a sandwich, too. Plus everyone always kids me about the name, so bonus!

I had a few leftover Romas, after the marinara-making excursion, so decided to make some homemade Pomodoro sauce for lunch. It was ubersimple. I heated some olive oil, added one clove of finely diced fresh garlic, and when that was starting to brown, put in about 1/4 cup of Balsamic vinegar. I reduced that down until it was glossy and thick, then added in two big, diced Roma tomatoes and just let that simmer with some oregano and basil while my pasta was cooking. Top with a few grates of Parmesan and...

**Voila!!**

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We grew something this year that I've not had since I was a kid, but I was oh-so-happy to have them again. I used to just peel these and eat them with a little salt when I was younger, and the other day, I got to do so again. It was just like childhood. Click the cut to play Guess the Mutant Veggie. -----> )

Cat Food

Apr. 21st, 2009 03:19 pm
bluesilverkdg: (Default)
I covet this $450 cat tree: http://cj.shop.com/All_in_One_Kitty_Care_Center_3_Seater_for_Litterbox%2C_Feeding_Play-48134239-p%21.shtml?trk=3

My God, this thing has it all! They can play! They can eat! They can climb! They can poop! All in one convenient, fun location. That pull-out litterbox drawer is just about the best thing evar. (Although the "Perfect Poophaus" has it beat on the name.)

One of these days, when I win the lottery, my babies are getting this. They totally deserve it.

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Also, I've been doing a lot of cooking inspired by Indian, Middle Eastern and Asian flavors and spices. My mom bought me a mortar and pestle recently, so I've been grinding my own spices and making some pretty interesting and tasty mixes. I've also really gotten into all sorts of rices and grains. Anyway, I was recently lamenting how you don't see cheese very much in Indian cooking (perhaps because it comes from cows? I dunno.) Paneer is the only one I'm familiar with, and it's more like cottage cheese than just cheese-cheese. So I was doing some reading on an Indian recipe site, and found an online store where you can buy spices, condiments and other things. I saw a tab for "cheese" and clicked it excitedly. Their offering? Kraft Pasteurized Processed Cheese. So basically Velveeta.

WTF?
bluesilverkdg: (Default)
So, my fridge is still not fridging properly, but I'm hopefully getting that taken care of tomorrow. In the meantime, I've taken to keeping my milk and orange juice in a cooler full of ice, like the pioneers used to do it back in olden times.

I've been trying to use up as much of the stuff in my fridge as I could, before it went bad. (On the next episode of Cops..when good coleslaw goes bad.) It reminds me of cooking with my dad. I used to love it when he and I had control of the kitchen when I was a kid. He'd make what he called "cabinet soup." He basically just cleaned out the cabinets and threw whatever he thought looked good in a pot. 99% of the time, it was pretty tasty, but it was difficult to replicate, because what were the chances you were going to have all that stuff, in those same increments in the cabinet again? But still, it was fun, and I was always amazed at the concoctions he came up with.

What I made for dinner this afternoon was not nearly as exotic as cabinet soup, but it was still pretty yummy. I had some shrimp in the freezer that I didn't want to lose, so I decided to get crafty with that. I heated some olive oil in the skillet, toasted a bunch of spices, added some Tuscan Harvest salad dressing to the oil, and then halved up some grape tomatoes that were getting decidedly overripe. At the last minute, I dumped in the shrimp and poured the whole thing over pasta with a little grated parmesan cheese.

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Not too shabby for stuff I just grabbed out of the fridge before it spoiled. :-)
bluesilverkdg: (Doughboy)
One of my favorite soups at Tomato Head is the artichoke and bleu cheese bisque. They make all their soups from scratch, and rotate the soup of the day continuously. It's been forever since I had this soup, but I've just had a craving for it. Since I don't have easy access to Tomato Head (that's my favorite restaurant in Knoxville, by the way) anymore, and heaven knows when they'd have this on the menu again, I thought I'd give it a whirl myself.

I found this recipe on Epicurious: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/ARTICHOKE-BLUE-CHEESE-BISQUE-107061
It looks easy enough, and I think might be fairly close to what I've gotten at Tomato Head. The one ingredient that concerns me is the vermouth. I don't have any, nor do I care to buy a bottle just to get one cup for a soup recipe. I can't see that I'd ever use it in any other recipes or just to drink. So my question is, do any of you know of substitutes for vermouth? I tried googling to see if I could get any information, but I didn't know if it was trustworthy (I got recommendations to use a dry white wine, white wine vinegar or..white grape juice? Thinking I don't want grape juice in my bleu cheese soup, but I was hoping someone might have actual experience with the other two options to let me know how well they would work.)

Any assistance would be much appreciated. (Also, [livejournal.com profile] nonspecific, if it's good, and you think you'd like it, I'd obviously make you a modified batch to suit your needs.)
bluesilverkdg: (Doughboy)
Last weekend I went to a housewarming party at [livejournal.com profile] tnrkitect's house. His wife had made these amazing peanut butter sandwich cookies, and I meant to get the recipe for them. She'd told me that the filling was cream cheese, powdered sugar and peanut butter, but I wasn't sure of increments. So when I got home, I just googled until I found something that looked similar. This is what I came up with:

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup cream cheese
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 to 6 tbsps milk

In a large mixing bowl, beat peanut butter, cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and milk. Add more milk as needed to achieve spreading consistency.

Spread on half of the cookies and top each with another cookie.


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Holy cow, soooo good. I made peanut butter cookies yesterday, and tried this filling. (I'll put the recipe for the cookies under the cut, but it's just pretty basic) I can't quit eating them, they're so amazing. I took some over to my dad yesterday, who promptly devoured them.

I'm definitely making these the next time we have a cookout or family dinner. And if you're a fan of peanut butter, you should make them, too! I'm just trying now to figure out how to incorporate chocolate into the mix, because that's the one thing I can think of that would actually make this recipe even better. Peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips? Or chocolate cookies with peanut butter chips. The possibilities are endless...
Next time I make them, I think I will leave out the vanilla extract. I may have added a bit too much, but I'm normally a fan of vanilla. In this case though, it didn't quite mesh with the other ingredients. I also had to add more milk, because the filling is THICK, and my mixer kept stalling when I was trying to blend the ingredients. Otherwise, I've gotta say, these cookies are darned near perfection. Oh, another hint, they tend to get a bit soggy if left at room temperature or warmer (they practically melted in the car yesterday on the way to see my parents.) Refrigerating them gives them a better texture, and I think, makes them taste better.

Here's the recipe for the cookies, if you like..

Feed your head. )
bluesilverkdg: (Default)
My mom had gotten me a new food processor some time back, but I'd never used it until I moved. I hadn't used a food processor, um..wow, since I was married I guess. That was a long time ago. I'd forgotten how much fun they are!

So, for the last few weeks, I've been processing my little heart out. I have made hummus of all sorts (I tried some last week with kalamata olives. Good, but needs more olives.) I'm also in the process of tweaking my salsa verde recipe. That would be that yummy green salsa made from tomatillas (which, contrary to popular belief are NOT actually green tomatoes.) I'm having a lot of fun eating my "mistakes." Once I get to the point where I feel that it's right..and I am oh-so-close to perfection..I'm going to can some. My mom and I are going to hole up in the cabin like a couple of pioneer women and can salsa. My heavens, how perfectly June Cleaveresque is that? I will not, however, be wearing pearls and heels to do my canning. Once the tomatoes start coming into the garden (hopefully very soon!), I intend to tackle homemade marinara sauce. If you can think of anything else that I could process and/or can, please let me know. I am a food processing fool.

I also have a new Mexican-type dish that I'm concocting in my head (that involves the aforementioned salsa verde) if any of you would like to be guinea pigs for me? It sounds good in my mind. If it's half as good on the plate, you might just have a foodgasm all over my kitchen.

And tonight, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] albinohognose and his rotorooter, I shall hopefully have a bathtub that will actually drain. That has nothing to do with food, I just wanted to throw that out there. I'm feeling quite happy of late. Life's really pretty good!

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Pickles!

Oct. 25th, 2007 10:18 pm
bluesilverkdg: (Pickles)
I made the fried dill pickles tonight. Oh. My. God. Mouthgasm.

I'm posting the recipe for the batter below the cut, so if you want to try them, you can. I did tweak it a bit. The pickles that I had on Sunday had a bit of a bite to them, so I added a few shakes of hot sauce and some black pepper to the batter. I also added more than 2 tablespoons of pickle juice and just decreased the water. But otherwise, it's pretty much right on! I swear, they taste just like the ones I got at the festival the other day and the texture was absolutely perfect...light and crispy.

Oh, for the record, I used Claussen hamburger chips. Claussens are my absolute favorite pickle, but you could use whatever brand you like. And dill spears are good to fry, as well. I dipped mine in ranch dressing, but I've had them at another restaurant with a horseradish dijon, which was also excellent. I need to figure out how to make that.

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A detail of the delicate, crispy coating..

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And now for the recipe... )

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