Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The No Chew Food Post...

As is well documented, Thursday I went into my dentist for the beginning of root canal surgery.. He got the tooth prepped and drained, to relieve pressure- kind of worked, but the pain pills were great! Food was a non-event that night.. Friday, getting hungry, but not looking for rawhide to chew on, I decided it would be a good time to try the corn chowder soup mix Katherine had send me! Added a bit of ham, and onion to it, and dove in! Not thinking how badly the dentist had jabbed me with Novocaine, the soup didn't get a fair judging... Everything tasted salty to me, as my mouth was super sensitive from the beating it took! Plan to revisit the left over soup when taste buds are healed...
Chicken spaghetti is Sunday's meal, a simple, yet tasty way to make left over chicken into another decent meal! The red sauce was base, Balsamic vinegar, along with fresh chopped onions, basil, oregano, fennel seeds, crushed garlic, and Parmesan cheese, over the pasta. Simmering sauce like this for a couple of hours makes a big difference..depth of flavor is amazing!
Tonight, still on the "minimal chew" mode, I made scratch pancakes, with link sausages as a side.. with maple syrup and butter, we were pretty OK with this peasant kind of meal! Tomorrow is my birthday, and I have no idea what the plan is- except being a year older!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chicken with Yukon Golds, And A White Pizza

By Friday, the pain medication was starting to work(a little!) and it was time to bake some chicken and roast some potatoes... Marinated chicken- thighs and bone-in breasts, in a champagne vinegar, olive oil, white pepper, and poultry seasoning for a couple of hours. Baked at 330F for 1-1/2 hrs. the skin was crispy, the chicken was tender and moist! The potatoes were smallish Yukon Golds, perfect for the same temp and time as the chicken. I used olive oil as a coating, then salted and peppered the skin. Came out creamy, with skin just starting to wrinkle! Plenty of left over chicken...
Saturday, I was feeling a little more like something different to eat, and thought the pizza I missed Friday would be tasty tonight! Home made crust, as always- but decided an Alfredo sauce based pizza sounded good! That sauce, along with Parmesan cheese, Mozzarella cheese, chopped onion,pepperoni, and chopped cooked chicken made for a really great taste mix! Ran some up to my son, who was working, and he called to rave about too..
Today's meal is undecided, but my sister-in-law gave us some home grown raspberries, which will be a dessert very soon!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What A Day... If Hearing The Words "Root Canal" Doesn't Scare You, It Should!

My tooth(farthest one back in your head!) started to ache about Sunday.. no biggie- this to shall pass.. Wrong! By Thursday, the pain alone told me what I had yet to hear from the dentist(old, reliable friend!)- Root canal! I said "Do it!" He says "I won't, on a tooth that far back.. I will call an associate", which he did! "Monday is the soonest, but I can do a prelim to relieve the pressure right now!" Right about now, I was in so much pain, I was confessing to shit I didn't even do... He gasses me, and numbs me(about down to my nutsack!)and proceeds to do the work. I am still numb, but I was given a prescript for antibiotics, and pain killers- and I'm pretty sure I want both ASAP! Informed my wife dinner might be a one sided event, with her getting the drugs after that... Me in pain is not pretty..I apologize, after I sew your head back on...
Only a couple of photos, nothing special- as food has been simple since the wedding feast! One was going to be Fajitas, but became a wet burrito instead! The other is just a couple of cheeseburgers, with toppings... Enjoy your food, and think of me drinking through a straw(once my face isn't numb anymore!)..

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Classiest Wedding I've Ever Attended!

Saturday was spent in preparation to a large, formal wedding put on by our friends for their second daughter. Dave was a customer of mine for years, in which over the span of 30 years, became good friends too.. The wedding ceremony was held at one our most beautiful churches in the area, Fountain Street Church.. The gowns were gorgeous, tuxes quite traditional, with a soloist brought in from out of town that was World class.. The two people getting married, genuinely loved each other- that was obvious!
The reception was held at Grand Rapids finest hotel/restaurant complex, The Amway Grand Hotel. This was originally the Pantlind Hotel,built in 1913. It was purchased by the Amway Group(now Alticor) and totally refurbished to it's former glory. They added a tower hotel to it, that for many years was the tallest building in Grand Rapids!
It started with a reception, with open bar and high end appetizers, overlooking a lobby filled with original chandeliers, lighting the floor below. We then took our seat placement in the finest ballroom(they have four!), The Grand Ballroom!
Dinner was as follows; First a tomato bisque, covered in a pastry shell- quite good! Next, as a Romaine salad, with a signature thick caesar salad dressing(garlic x 2!). The main course was a beef tenderloin, in Cabernet glaze sauce, three scampi, also in a sauce (cream and again, garlic!) fresh, steamed asparagus, with a potato remindful of scalloped, but compressed and cut like a wedge(again with the garlic!) Wine was served throughout the meal, if you wished..Cabernet or Chardonnay. Dessert was the wedding cake, which was light, white and chocolate cake, with a creamy frosting.
Band fired up, and they were imported for the occasion- very good, very loud! Acoustics in a room with a gilded ceiling, plaster and mirrored walls, originally built in 1913, is not very good at absorbing sound! We stayed until 10;30PM, then said our thank you's and good byes... This wedding had to be in the 50K+ range for everything! Quite an experience...
Food was out for Sunday- still full! Monday, back on Earth now, I fixed a couple of simple, pan fried pork steaks, with some rigatoni Alfredo for a side.. Tonight is looking like something south of the border!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Report On Soup..Simply Put, Exellent!

This potato soup, and I have made a few.. was superior! I believe it was made from potato flour, seasoned with chives, leeks, or onion.. Thought milk would be the liquid, but only water was used.. Leads me to believe they put dry milk in it as an addition... It was filling, tasty, and every bit as good as Katherine said it would be! Wife will have a bowl, before we leave for an upscale wedding tonight.. Katherine- you are a keeper! Your taste buds work well, you share, and I appreciate both!

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Food Gift! What A Pleasant Surprise!

Last night, my wife comes in with a package for that just came in the mail. She is the Mail lady in this house, so she had opened it before I even got it! I was very pleasantly surprised to find Katherine Aucoin, a blogger friend- had sent me two kinds of soup mixes from her region of the world! The photo shows what kind of soups and the brand that they go by.. She was getting even with me for sending her some of our regional mustard and a B.D. tee shirt!
We plan to make the potato soup first, as Katherine recommends that one highly. She wrote a note advising me this soup is even better with the addition of sharp cheddar cheese and bacon, crumbled. That is exactly what I am going to do!
Thanks again, Katherine- I really appreciate this!
Enjoy your week-ends everybody! We're going to have a souper Friday night, and a big, dress-up wedding on Saturday... I wonder what they'll think of my ponytail I've been growing since I retired...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Matriarchs Birthday, The Goob Is A Year Older, But Getting Better!

Today is my wife's birthday... We spare a great deal of expense, but do not hold back on effort! Card- Guy in a cheap magicians outfit, with cheesey looking magic wand.. Front of card reads: "About the time a man figures out what a woman really wants"(open card!) "Most of the magic in his wand is gone"...
Present- She is into the "Twilight" books, 4th is out- that's what she wanted, and got!
Dinner of choice: Deep fried shrimp, with honey mustard sauce, and a red based hot sauce... Batter is something I am getting good at- Beer, Drake's, Lawry's Seasoned Salt, and black pepper-restaurant ground.. Ice cold, like Tempura- it is light and crisp! Seasoned Curly Fries- which were stupid good! And her cake..Remember the commercial where the two people run into each other, one eating chocolate- the other peanut butter? Now imagine a banana-walnut bread colliding with a carrot cake, topped with cream cheese spice frosting... It was to remember- it was that good! One large candle, instead of the correct number of them- Global warming is a real threat! She is pleased when she is spoiled occasionally- the beatings commence, and resume once again at dawn! Happy Birthday, darlin'....Conway Twitty..stupid name, ridiculous hairdo, I hate country music- but you did manage to get this one right...
Celebrate your small, happy moments with your loved ones, as there just isn't enough love going around...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

More Food! What Else?

Friday night brought an impromptu supper.. the usual homemade pizza, but instead of a small one- a big one, as my son and his girlfriend came over to join us! Half of it was three cheese, sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, green pepper, and onion- while the other half was same sans green pepper and onion..
Saturday, wife had to work all day, but requested a Chef's salad for eats- no problemo!
Toppings were celery, carrots, bacon, ham, chopped hard cooked egg, shredded cheese and tomato... I like my Blue cheese dressing, she prefers sweet Italian..
Sunday brought a nice roast chicken, stuffed with an Italian flavored rice that was simmered in red sauce, and blended with ground Italian sausage. Good stuff! Ton of it left, as I melted some cheese over what didn't fit into bird and baked as a casserole! That last photo is my son's "to go" plate! We have brought him lunch where he works on Sunday for 10 years! Only a mile from our house..
Enough left overs to get us through a couple of days, my work is done here.. until next time! I think I'll bake a cake or something....

Friday, September 11, 2009

Three Nights Of Food Requests...

When my wife leaves for work, I always ask "What sounds good for supper?" I throw out few ideas, and when she gets home- it is underway! Labor Day was Monday Big Meal, the rest of the week was comfort food..
Tuesday- Tacos. Pretty predictable ingredients- but I still love those flat bottomed shells from Old El Paso brand! The beef filling is flavored by my own blend of spices and herbs- sorta have to be there to see what happens!
Wednesday- Marinated Chicken Tenders(Asian flavor) and refried rice. This was pretty good, as some leftover rice was refried (surprisingly good!)- added sauteed celery, carrots, onion, with soy sauce and butter...simple and tasty! Chicken went well with this. Cooking and prep was about 1/2 hour!
Thursday- Our cheese bacon wrapped hot dogs(Hebrew Nationals!) Can be eaten with or without hot dog bun...mustard and catsup is fine for me!
Later today, a home made pizza.. I'm actually going to get out my pizza stone and peel! I'm thinking hot Italian sausage, pepperoni, and mushrooms.. Have a good week-end, and say a prayer for the families that lost someone on Sept. 11 in New York, on the anniversary of this generation's "Day of Infamy"..

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Oddest Food Mini-meme..

When we were all little kids( and we all were once!) we were fed, or even on our own- ate some very strange things... Did an older kid ever talk you into eating a worm, or some nasty other bug? Did your parents think you were really interested in trying some weird-ass food they ate while growing up in some foreign country? I think you are all on the same page now, waiting for the two question challenge!
1. What was the strangest thing you ever ate, animal or vegetable- your earliest memory?
2. What is the strangest thing you eat today- and enjoy?
I usually go first, as it gives others courage to answer!
1. Dutch DubbleZout.. Roughly translated, double salted licorice from the Netherlands- brand name Faam Dropkes. They had the rubbery consistency of an automotive grommet, with a salty, licoricey flavor that, when you were exposed to it first time- you spit it out! Large Dutch community around here, and is also my heritage.... Today I actually love them, but it is an aquired taste!
2. I would have to say Escargots..snails..slugs to be brutal! Who was the first starving person to get so hungry as to try one of these? Then they found out, with garlic butter, cooked properly- is a treat?!?!
There are many more, but I want to hear your personal answers to this! Try it- It's quick and fun!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Labor Day Eats- Grill Summer Goodness!

We usually have a bit of a large meal on Labor Day- usually a grill and charcoal are involved! I like company that day, and this year it was my youngest son Craig, with girlfriend in tow.. She had to work today, so dinner was early- noonish. I cooked a bunch for Saturday, so I wasn't looking to recreate the wheel, just have a good simple meal, done well!
Menu was T-bone steaks, seasoned with Canadian Steak Seasoning, and rubbed with Worcestershire sauce, charcoaled to medium as shown. Next, fresh corn on the cob, steamed until done- but crisp! I bought those dinner rolls, and paid more than normal, only because they were fresh, soft, and fragrant... Dessert was lemon bars. a little retro- but welcome to the Midwest! All got gone, and now have the rest of the day to relax..
The weather today was beautiful, if a bit warm... The grocery store was not busy when I went(early!), and that is nice. The checkout people and baggers were sullen, as they had to work..I even tried to cheer them up- to no avail!
An article in our newspaper- Headline read: "Women make up half the workforce in depressed Michigan"... A couple of reasons being, that's how many guys are out of work, and employers take advantage of women, because they settle for less pay than a guy! Working women, know your worth! Happy Labor Day!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

We Are Going To Visit Friends! I Never Show Up- Empty-handed!

Friends. You have old ones, new ones, almost forgotten ones, and people you haven't met yet that will be friends...Isn't that a wonderful thing?
Tonight, we are seeing an old customer of mine and his wife.. sold metal to him for years, before the company was sold, and he was no longer there. A good friend, a great friend- a wonderful man, and as we got to know his wife- a great gal! The fun we had when they had a 40ft. yacht! The fun we had before and after... We are bringing the hot appetizers, as I can't spell whore's ovaries,or hors d' overes ! Marinated Sock-eye salmon- slow cooked -Asian flavors, Danish meatballs(dill is the trick, kids!), and chicken wings in BB- sauce... Pictures are up- figure which is which! One is breakfast- has nothing to do with this post! Just good eats..
I learned a song when I was in about 2nd grade.. "Make new friends, but keep the old- one is silver and the other gold"..Sing it like Row,row, your boat, gently down the stream.. I loved it. Old friends are like putting on your most comfortable clothes- no stress, warmth, and nobody cares what you look like.. Have a wonderful Holiday, with friends..May you be blessed with as many as I have been! As the old song says.. We may never pass this way, again.. Hug your loved ones, as I can't.. I'm only one man, for the love of Mike! Can't get pictures up.. Sorry!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Wasps, And Other Related Events..

We( my wife!) noticed our yard had two active "digger" wasp holes... She found this out, by running the lawn mower over one of them and getting stung about five times, while a swarm of them chased her into the house... I hate stinging insects, but I knew I had to do something.. I got on trusty Google, and read up on the little demons! I found out there can be far more nests in a small area of ground, if not controlled. I found out they like sandy soil- and that's what I have here. This time of year is the best time to do something about it- after summer, but before winter. Cool weather and night or darkness is when most are in the nest. Numerous ways to kill them, but as I have a dog, so poison or insecticide was what I wanted to avoid... The solution I went with was cheap, and many reports said that it works great- ammonia! I bought two one gallon jugs, waited until dawn, jammed an open jug into each hole, effectively preventing possible exit of pissed off wasps- blocking it as the ammonia glubbed out. I also stabbed a hole into the bottom of the upturned jug, to allow faster flow... ran for cover and watched.. nothing came out, which is a good sign!
Oddly enough, both nests had been dug out a bit by some critter(possum or skunk)as bits of the internal nest were lying outside the hole... I Googled both animal's diets, and either one could have done it, looking for larvae.. I'll let you know how this worked!
Our Mulberry trees are huge, with a bumper crop of berries this year...It is better than a bird feeder, as it has attracted many birds, other wildife, and little neighbor kids! I'd love to hear their moms chewing the kids out for the stains that don't come out very easily!
Food post will be in a couple of days- much cooking this week-end!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Bread, Butter, And Life..

Is there anything more primal to civilized mankind, than bread? No bread was ever made in any form for thousands of years before early civilizations... Beer making and bread making are joined at the hip- one is liquid, the other solid and sustaining, but both have much in common. Once, I made a home made pizza dough, and forgot to put yeast in it... Unleven pizza might be OK during Passover, but it sure didn't fly very high here! Bread is simple; You mix flour from some grain, water, yeast or a bacteria that breeds in that medium, a bread will happen- to a degree! The addition of sugar, salt, oil, and flavorings helped a lot!
The devil is in the details, when making bread- or baking in general.. It is the only time I actually measure anything!
I made two loaves of bread today, and results were 85% good. I let it rise a good length of time, punched it down, separated into two loaves. let rise again- and baked... Bread is tasty, done perfectly- but fell from it's yeasty heights above the pan's lips for some unknown reason.. I like dense white bread, not too sweet or full of air- and I got that! Eats well, but baking can still be a mystery to me! I will always respect masterbasterbate- whoa! strike that! Master bakers.... (damn Spellcheck!) Have a laugh- on me!