Cooking + Baking

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This morning’s walk – a frigid one of icy sidewalks, red cheeks and noses, and beautiful skies. Winter has yet to loose the weather reins, but in these drought filled times, I’m glad for whatever moisture is delivered.

Red chile with chorizo, delightfully topped and dipped. Oh, and one of my best-ever margaritas. Birds of a feather and all.

I think this is going to be on the frequent dessert rotation list. It’s a very crave worthy gelatin, yogurt or sour cream, and cream cheese no-bake cake that whips up lickety-split quick. Since I am not terribly fond of cheesecake crusts, I left it out, and it reads more like a wonderfully silky pudding, with minimal sugar. I love how any topping would make it shine. These are blueberries. Bananas and peaches forthcoming.

The hubster got a new job! As always, I am proud to be his #1 gal and cheerleader through a pretty exhausting process. We’ve decided that many tech companies, when interviewing, are more keen on what a candidate does NOT know than their actual strengths, both in software development and as an individual, relating human to human. Kinda sad. The very cool socks were part of a fun welcome-to-the-company swag box.

Carrot ginger soup with turmeric cream. I find it very curious that super orange carrots turned such a neon shade of yellow.

Double the yolk breakfast sammy. Isn’t nature a wonder?

This isn’t the prettiest in the land (see carrot soup above) but boy was it delicious! It’s a fish chowder (shrimp, clam, sea bass) with the ultimate chicken-style dumpling lily-gilder. More, please.

When I made our Chinese takeout meal, I bought a package of egg roll wrappers, but dang, if there aren’t a million of them. So I waited for an idea to come. Butternut squash and sage ravioli! A lazy woman’s delight of feeling home made without the need to roll pasta. Ahem, yes. More please.

Logan George, our neighbor of three, with THE coolest name in the hood, had a wee baby brother! I made cupcakes and bought cool baby things. You are loved, little Max.

My sesame chicken disappointment is dearly departed, peeps. I asked, and the interwebs provided, though I did not deep fry. The best we’ve ever had.

Meal in Reverse: Apple and fennel pizza with hot honey (poured from Grandma’s pot!!) for dessert. Mushroom and fennel pizza for the main. Salad not pictured. Delicious, of course. What a delight to see the smile when I boxed it for leftovers.

And a note to former Portlanders living in Colorado Springs who also happen to be fans of Mama Lil’s. They have GIANT jars at Costco. Saints preserve us…

Just like IKEA

Savory Corn Custard with Mushroom & Linguica

No, seriously!! The washing machine ate my pants.

Marge Simpson

It’s beautiful where we are!

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Not really. We eat, work out, sleep, read, watch home shows and DVDs, and walk the dog. Though it would not seem so from the photos sometimes. Connecticut Style Lobster Roll from Bob’s Lobstah Trap. Very tasty. Greg got his gronked (I think?) which basically means huge and actually quite unnecessary. It’s a bountiful bit as it is, and we struggled to finish.

I made Chinese food, takeout style, with crab cheese wontons (baked not fried), scallion pancakes, which were just like Stickers in Portland (YAY!!), and sesame chicken. The chicken the least like takeout, so I will be searching the interwebs for another recipe. It was fun to have the sensation of our favorite Lucky Dragon without out the takeout styrofoam or being in a restaurant.

I can’t tell you how much I am gunning to get vaccinated, so we can get back to our old ways of eating out once or twice a week. Betting you’re feeling the same.

Not cheese queso, made with butternut squash and macadamia nuts and tasty flavors like smoked paprika, garlic, and roasted jalapenos. It hits the craving jackpot when there is nary a wedge of cheese in the casa. Yup, yup.

The near usual state of my desk. Shit piles up quickly, peeps.

Walking in a winter wonderland….

Some sort of beef salad, with macadamias. I don’t remember much else.

Greg made me the perfect egg. He’s wonderful like that!

Peach cake, made with a recipe from Carpathia – scratch your Romanian cookbook itch.

practically perfect blueberry muffin

For a whole lot of years, I made Greg bouillabaisse for his birthday, but as it is with life, some things fall way, and I hadn’t done it in a while, Pittsburgh, maybe? Then, yesterday, after forgetting to plan a meal the night before, rummaged through the freezer and saw a seafood medley practically begging for bouillabaisse. So here it is, and what a fabulous treat it was. Damn.

And here we are, on our honeymoon (June 20, 1993 to be exact), the very first time we were wowed by bouillabaisse. We were in Nice, France – it’s so nice! There’s so much going on here besides the amazing food. Greg is beardless; my hair is short; I’m wearing earrings and a floral pattern; neither of us has a single grey hair and we probably weigh 25 pounds less than today! How wild the march of time…

Juniper builds her brain power with a snack hiding puzzle.

More snow!

Mud flats. Yuck.

The Way to Rainy Mountain – what a dream of a book…

When I was little, my mom made the best peach cobbler, the perfect balance of sweet, tender batter and canned peachy delight. I tried a lot of different recipes on my own without much satisfaction until I realized I should just ask her for the recipe (duh!). It’s pretty spectacular with peaches, of course, but I had some pie cherries in need of eating and tried it with them. So very good! How silly, too, that the simplest solution is often the most overlooked. I need more reminders of that. Just ask!

I made sesame crackers with the leftover almond milk meal. They are fantastic!!

The eggs are a Yvette Van Boven recipe that I riffed on, but are basically baked in cream, with the addition of curry (which looked so cool) and ham. They reminded me of the breakfast bowls Greg and I so love, minus the English muffins. To continue on the breakfast theme, have you ever baked oatmeal, then sprinkled the sugar over the top before broiling it? It’s a bit like creme brulee and a winner, especially the crispy bits topped with butter.

The cake is Delta Caramel, and it looks lousy, truth be told, but WOW, does it taste great. If you are a newby, like me, to the recipe, it calls for the icing to be drizzled over while warm, but there’s no way you’re going to fill that gap with something warm and oozy. Next time I’m waiting for it to cool a bit. Yessir. And in the Huh? category, Delta Caramel Cakes are in the top ten for a funeral. How about that?

More snow! We are finally getting our winter on here. Boy howdy, yes!!

Gyorgy “George” Taposik

S.S. Pisa

Hello Saturday!

It’s a gorgeous and not freezing day here. To steal a line from religious folk I’ve seen on the T.V. – Can I get an Amen?! I feel 100% grateful to have not lost power during that wretched stretch of sub-zero temperatures. What a nightmare to hear of friends shivering at 40 degrees indoors. Hoping they are feeling some much needed warmth!

And speaking of cold places, last weekend I made my first ever batch of runzas. They are a solidly Russian / Eastern European delight of ground beef, cabbage (which turned so blue!), onion, and cheese (sharp cheddar in our case). I also added caraway seeds, because when in Rome, right? They’re like the best hot pocket you can imagine, and can be done a million ways, just roll out the dough and fill them with whatever you fancy. Or, for the lazy or otherwise overwhelmed, head over to the Runza restaurant site, and they’ll ship some to you!

As we were enjoying them, I thought on my Grandma Tess’s father Gyorgy. He emigrated from Jenkovce, Slovakia (Austria at the time) in 1900 on the S.S. Pisa, at the ripe age of 18, with a whopping $2.50 in his pocket (about $70 today). He was a coal miner in and around Springfield, Illinois for the rest of his life and, rather sadly, died of black lung. I imagined him feasting on a runza, this simple all-in one in its own container, while down in the mine; the delicious, fortifying comfort of home.

In a further nod to the Taposik side of my family, when I was little, my Grandma Tess had this Bissel sweeper. I have many a memory of its delightful back and forth whir. I hadn’t thought about it in some time when I saw the Fuller model Greg is using pictured in the Vermont Country Store catalog. My mind got to clicking as I thought on Juniper’s wild riot of dog hair all over the hard woods. Would it work? It was surely worth a try. So I bought it. Wowie!! It’s pretty dreamy and way better than dragging out the noisy vacuum. So thanks Grandma, for the memories and the help! I love you.

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