Category Archives: Food bloggers

Found an “old friend”

I used to read this lovely blog regularly and credit her for being the first person to share the Gospel to me. She also lead me to MB but found him to not be to her own personal liking. I probably should have heeded what she said, but then I would not know what I know now 🙂

She’s had several blogs. Every one in a while she gets fed up and quits, then her readers have to wait for her to resurface.  She is definitely worth reading.

Tapas experiment

tapas shopping

My family and I suspect most Americans don’t spend enough time eating. Oh my we get enough FOOD to eat, but seem to spend very little time enjoying the experience.  We’ve been working at adding more variety to our diet in the form of organ meats, sea food and vegetables, to my dear husbands meat-and-potato-loving horror.  I noticed a while back that in order to get my family to eat a wider variety of food, we needed to do it more like a restaurant would, in courses. First a salad, then maybe a nice cup of soup, and finally the main course (don’t forget dessert!)

So last night I was watching a Tony Bourdain marathon (I know! W00t!) and his Spain and Venice episodes really brought the eating more slowly and with great gusto idea home for me. Even Tony was waxing poteic at sitting at the table with a family eating and conversing, drinking wine and enjoying the company. I want that! No more TV on the news while we eat from TV trays! No more throwing together a plate of food and horching it down so  can get back to whatever busywork task or internet BS I am currently involved in (doom-watching takes a lotta time, ya know?!?) At least we eat together, in the same room. But we can do better.

The clips I am referring to are embedded above.The meat of the matter starts at about the 7 minute mark in the first clip.

[youtube id=WpEmxIrprik] [youtube id=yYyJbcGawjE]

So, the new phase in our expansion of food choices: tapas. From our good friend Wikipedia (bold is mine):

Tapas (IPA: [ˈtaˌpas]) is the name of a wide variety of appetizers, or snacks, in Spanish cuisine. They may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or warm (such as puntillitas, which are battered, fried baby squid).

In North America and the United Kingdom, as well as in select bars in Spain, tapas have evolved into an entire, and sometimes sophisticated, cuisine. In these countries, patrons of tapas restaurants can order many different tapas and combine them to make a full meal.

The serving of tapas is designed to encourage conversation because people are not so focused upon eating an entire meal that is set before them.[citation needed] Also, in some countries it is customary for diners to stand and move about while eating tapas.

Conversation? During a hillbilly meal? Impossible you say. The hard part will be in getting the Old Man to turn off the news. Fortunately the local news recycles their BS at the top of every hour so if we eat promptly at 5 pm, the preferred time in these here hills, we can catch the news at 6 and not miss a darned thing. I have a nifty table that can be raised and lowered and has leaves, so we can drag it out and set it up quickly to eat then put it away.

The tapas recipes I am going to try are already loaded into the recipe section of the site, and I will get up pictures as I go along.

The highlights:

Bacon wrapped shrimp, stuffed artichoke croquettes, ham or shrimp croquettes, Russian Salad, garlic mushrooms, meatballs in tomato sauce, roasted spicy almonds, skewered chorizo and shrimp, and Mediterranean eggs. These are all items made with familiar items but put together in ways that my family might not have tried previously. As you can see, I did not get terribly adventurous for the first week. As they get used to it, however: whammo! out comes the fried octopus or liver bits. Blam. I modified all these recipes from the originals to make them WAPF friendly.

We might put together a video if I am feeling ambitious. The pic up top? It’s from my grocery shopping today. I’ve noticed a lot of my favorite food bloggers are following the lead of that article that showed a pictorial of what people eat for a week. The items in the pic are all I needed to round out what I already have in the hillbilly larder. I think it looks nice 😉

Buffalo Chicken dip

buffalo chicken dip

I found a new keeper appetizer recipe today! It’s called Buffalo Chicken dip and wow, is it good! One of my favorite dishes in the world is Buffalo Chicken wings, home made with loads of bleu cheese dressing and celery sticks: don’t forget the chips, salsa and beer! This recipe is a take on that great dish, but made into an appetizer-dip instead.

I saw the original recipe on “Mennonite Girls Can Cook” and knew I HAD to try it but being an inveterate tinker I made some adjustments.
Here is the original recipe:

And here is what I did.

I made fried chicken last night in the fry daddy; we cooked the chicken in lard utilizing Alton’s method for coating chicken: dry/wet/dry with flour, egg and milk wash, then flour again. Good stuff, it is. Here is the pic I posted on Facebook last night after the frying:

chicken dinner

I had a few pieces of uncooked chicken that I stored in the fridge overnight intending to cook today, so that’s where I started. I fired up the fry-daddy and dipped then cooked the chicken until crispy. While the chicken was cooking, I grabbed a box of cream cheese, a cup of sour cream, some bleu cheese crumbles, Monterrey Jack cheese, and the Frank’s Hot Sauce and mixed them together. The cream cheese mixes best if it has time to sit out and warm up. When the chicken finished cooking (a fat thigh, BTW. I like thighs rather than breast meat) I shredded it and added it to the cheese mixture. I scraped it into my favorite dip pan and baked it for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. My goodness! I left out the celery as I like to eat dip straight off the stick. I tried it with tortilla chips *gasp at the goodness* and crackers as well. All three were great. I am going to add this to my stable of dips for when we are feasting.
Now how am I going to stay out of it all day. Wait, I know. I will bake gingerbread cake today in preparation for the Sabbath! Oh, and Challah as well. Additionally I am starting a pot of chili for chili-stuffed baked potatoes with cheese, sour cream and onions for dinner tonight, plus the usual Sabbath prep cleaning and some work-work I have to finish today to make my deadline. Busy day! That will keep me busy. And hungry. Guess it’s a good thing I made dip for breakfast!

The Blahs

I am feeling tired and out of sorts today; did not get enough sleep last night. I should exercise but I am not going to do it.

I made baked oatmeal today, starting with soaking Scottish-cut oatmeal overnight in whey from yogurt. It turned out well. The recipe came from Kelly the Kitchen Kop. I will be eating this for breakfast off and on the next several days, alternating it with eggs I added dried cranberries to it this morning for extra zing.
baked oatmeal

We are making carnitas today from the Homesick Texan recipe. I have made this several times and it is phenomenally good! The pork simmers slowly in it’s own lard, and the rich fat gives it a toothsomeness that can’t be beat. The OJ works well for caramelizing as well, and adds additional depth to the flavor


pork roast
Food list:

B: baked oatmeal

L: pizza again (leftovers)

D: carnitas, beans, mexican rice, copped veg, home made tortillas

Real Food Wednesday July 29 2009

real food wed

I am working on granola today from Cheeseslave’s post from yesterday. I have made granola before but with mixed results. I like this recipe better than the one from Nourishing Traditions, and have all kinds of nifty stuff that I can put in the granola.  I started the nuts soaking yesterday and will stick them in my home made dehydrator boxes a little later. Today should reach just about 100 degrees in sunny Northern California (not far from Yosemite) but it is not quite warm enough yet to start the boxes. I use these nifty old wooden boxes I found at a yard sale as both solar cookers and dehydrators. The are line with foil and I just load them up and sit them outside to do their work. I will get pics of that and update the blog later. For now, here are almonds and walnuts soaking: (these are fresh and local; the walnuts from our tree and the almonds from a friend’s)

almonds soaking
walnuts soaking

As you can see, no fancy equipment; I use pans that I thrift sale or find really really cheap I started the oatmeal this AM.
oatmeal soaking

I used whey from yogurt for the acidic medium.

So, the nuts into the dehydrator boxes today, the oatmeal tomorrow. We have dried apricots, cranberries, blueberries, and bananas that can all be placed in the mix, and local gorgeous honey from Gold Country Honey Farms (their website seems to be down) that we pick up at the weekend Farmer’s Market. i have loads of dessicated coconut and coconut oil from Tropical Traditions. I am hopeful that this is going to turn out delish!

Update: here is a pic of my home made solar cooker/dehydrator.  I took the glass off the top to show the inside. I also moved it as it was in the shade. There is a rack underneath the walnuts that is covered by paper towels.

Migas for breakfast

Sigh.  Homesick Texan , I love you but my ass is growing from eating too much of your gorgeous recipes.  Sigh again.

The ONLY way I have ever successfully lost weight is with low-carbing. However, I LOATHE the process of low-carbing, as it helps me wack out in my OCD way on every damned thing I put in my mouth, to where I find myself defiantly stuffing tortillas in my mouth while hiding in the back bathroom tub ( a lovely old six-foot long claw foot, I might add).  I have even tried to make peace with calories following “Eat Fat Lose Fat” by Sally and Mary in WAPF style.  But the second anything carby enters my mouth and the Hunger!  I get squirrelly and eat!  Low carbing shuts that off, but makes me crazy in other, not nice ways.  So, fat I am and fat I remain. At least until the next time that Cleochatra inspires me and I get back on the LC wagon. *Snort*

This leads to: Migas for Breakfast!  Here is what Homesick Texan says about it, and a great recipe to boot.  The difference with mine: I fry nice Trader Joe’s fat corn tortillas in butter, and then add the eggs and cheese.  I also drop a bit of sour cream on the top after ensalsaing.  (is that a word?)

I am going to make some RIGHT NOW!

Back up and running

Sorry to be gone so long; I have been busy trying to recover from the drunken stupor that was my Tahoe WEEKEND;)  A good time was had by all; my daughter turn 20, my niece 22 and my friend 30 (they are all BABIES!)  The kid and niece got tattoos, we drank a boat-load of Sam Adams beer and ate until we burst (can I say 10 pounds?!?! In ONE weekend?!? lol!)

First off, Sam Adams beer rocks.  New find: cherry wheat.  This stuff is superiorly smooth and really tastes like cherries!  The pale ale and summer ale were also excellent.  I think I shall be drinking my way through the Sam Adams collection this summer 😉

Second: the carnitas were a HUUUGE hit. Gods bless the Homesick Texan for her recipe. I have made a lot of carnitas before, but the recipe that she gives is the best I ever came across.  Watch those cooking temps, tho: I nearly scorched the whole thing cooking on an electric stove.  My “highest” compliment: one gal exclaimed “It was like real taco truck food!”  The rice was great too.  Big secret here: wash the rice before cooking, and fry it in oil until brown.  Makes a huge difference in the Mexican rice taste.

We also did my Fettuccini, and in spite of missing an ingredient or two, was well received amongst the hungry and drunk women.

And Tahoe: spectacularly gorgeous.  Our condo overlooked the lake and the mountains.  There were trees! Sigh.

I Been Stimulated!

Stimulated, I tell ya!  By both the timely stimulus check from Unka Sam and by Tony Bourdain in Colombia tonight.  I just love that man.  I had a nice Honey Moon beer from Belgium Brewery while watching the show.  I swear the man smokes so much that he makes ME wanna smoke while the show is on and I don’t smoke!  I also saw the Colombian version of chiccarones tonight and was going to attempt to emulate it with thick bacon and my Fry-Daddy but alas, I could not find the cord for the wee bugger.  Never have teenage children.  (Although my teens are rolling into twenty-somethings this weekend. **sigh**)

My stimulus check was well spent on a new 23 Qt. pressure canner, a food-sucka-ma-jigger (vacuum sealer), a boat-load of wide mouth canning jars, and FOOD!  More food than you could shake a stick at, if you were so inclined. As I start canning and pickling I will post pics.

Also up: an 870 Remington Marine Magnum 12 GA shotgun and an 870 Remington 18″ Express Synthetic 20 GA shotgun with loads of shells and clay pigeons. But that is another conversation!

Whassup for dinner tonight?

Mystery Casserole! Tonight’s MC is a quiche: I have a TON of eggs to use up.  The ducks should start laying soon which means even more egg-based dishes coming soon! Pair it with a salad and some nice white wine, and ya got yerself a winner!  (Still no wine for me, sniff.  Soon, my precious.  Soon.)  I will report back as to how the experiment with the zucchini crust goes 😉

I will be using Cleo’s (bless ya, Jamie!) zucchini crust recipe for pizza, I am thinking.  Recipe here:

After that I will fill it with a standard LC quiche mixture:

8 eggs
2/3 c. cream
2 c. chopped ham
red and green peppers, chopped
chopped mushrooms
Cleo’s crust OR 2 c. cheese, any kind
season salt to taste
pepper to taste

Low-carb pizza crust that tastes GOOD!

It does when it is made with cauliflower and cheese!  I ran across this recipe on Cleochatra’s delightful blog, “The Lighter Side of Low-Carb” and it is GREAT!  I will be making a crust today for nibbling this week along with fabulous “Oopsie” rolls that are also her great invention 😉  Pics to come after I get the stuff made!

Here is my attempt:

Baked crust

With toppings

cut up and delish