Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunday Dinner Was Son's Girlfriend's Birthday Party..

My son called about Thursday reminding us it would be Beth's(his GF) birthday this week-end.... After a deliberate pause, I said; "Would you like us to fix her a birthday dinner Sunday?" "Well, that would be nice"... he says- knowing that's what he was calling about all along! I asked what treat she might want that day, and he was all ready with an answer- salmon!
We shopped Saturday, with me picking up some nice Sock-eye salmon, corn, potatoes, rolls, and a birthday cake, with Peppermint ice cream (that was for me- I love that peppermint ice cream!)... I gave DogB permission to enter the Au Gratin Cheddar/onion in his potato contest...
We weren't eating until 3:30PM, so plenty of time to get it right... From scratch Au Gratin potatoes, salmon seasoned with butter, dried dill, lemon pepper, fresh lemon, and salt.. The once a week thru Summer corn on the cob, whole wheat rolls with honey, all made for plenty to eat.. We took a break before cake and ice cream- too full not to! We got her a card, and some small gifts also... she appreciates what we do for her, as she had a difficult time while growing up, and isn't used to being put first, even if only for one day...
Fireworks photo for G-man, who along with other shared enthusiasms, appreciates these things as much as I!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hot Weather = Light Meals

Last night, it was still in the 90's, as it has been for a few days.. I know a lot of you are getting hotter weather than that, but in Michigan it tends to be humid also- and we're not used to it yet!
I thought I'd pick up some bakery sub rolls, some thinly sliced rare roast beef, and make a popular sandwich that doesn't require an oven on- The French Dip! It is a simple sandwich, that shows well if you don't try to make it gourmet... I slice the roll length-wise (but not all the way thru!), pile on the roast beef, along with some thinly sliced Swiss cheese. The Au Ju is a beef broth, with a bit of garlic and thinly sliced onions simmered in it- both to flavor it and create some soft onion slices to put on the sandwich... Heating the sandwich in a Microwave until cheese melts, then placing the onions on the sandwich makes for a hot, neat to eat treat on a hot summer's evening! Use a dense bread, as it takes the dipping well without getting soggy, or falling apart sloppy.... Enjoy your week-ends, I'm off today to get my fireworks for the 4th!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pasta Salad For A Guy, And Stuffed Pork Chops For A Girl

Earlier this week, I decided to make pasta salad- my wife enjoys this as a lunch or a side dish... I take my version into the "one stop meal" range, by the ingredients I put in it!
First, I hard boil and peel a couple of eggs, and let them cool. I then get the spiral, multi-colored pasta underway, boiling salt water, and cooking to Al Dente, shocking it after draining in a colander with cold water.. I then start chopping... Onions, celery, green olives, pepperoni, ham, Monterey Jack cheese, sharp Cheddar cheese, the hard boiled eggs,and- darn! Out of bell peppers! Oh well, there is a substantial amount of stuff in this already.. I then mix with a zesty Italian dressing, with a creamy Italian dressing and pour over the added pasta and other ingredients- chill for a couple of hours, draining a bit of dressing off as moisture in salad settles.. This is a popular dish to haul to summer potlucks, or picnics!
Yesterday afternoon, I got a light trim of a haircut(I'm trying to grow a pony tail for the first time in my life!). I was close to a good butcher shop, which makes a wife-favorite treat- stuffed pork chops! I bought two for dinner. When I got home, I seasoned the pork with salt, pepper, and savory blend.. sprayed with olive oil and baked covered for 1-3/4 hrs. They swelled, as shown in the photo, stayed moist as I roasted uncovered for 15 min. With a little gravy on the side, it made for a pleasant surprise for my wife...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Stale Pitas, And Father's Day Dinner & After

Saturday, I finished up my jerky, which came out tasty! We grocery shopped, and did a few other errands... Bought some pita pocket bread with the intent of continuing my cold sandwich craving with a new twist! I planned to make a couple of pita pocket sandwiches filled with lettuce, tomato slices,mayo, smoked turkey breast, and Swiss cheese... the pitas became two pieces of unleaven bread, with ingredients between.. It tasted OK, but are you supposed to heat these up first, or were my pitas just plain stale? I'm going to make pizzas out of the two left...
The Father's day feast went way better! Marinated small fillet minions for grilling over charcoal, sauteed mushrooms, sweet corn, sour dough bread, and scallops sauteed in garlic butter.. I crushed the garlic, which is something I normally don't do, scooted it around in the butter for a bit, then removed... Everything came out on time and was good! Nobody wanted dessert(cheesecake) everyone too full. Typical Father's Day.. I cook they eat, one son in K.C. called, other was here eating- forgot to bring the card he bought. No gift yet, but all I want is another rib rack- and I don't need it until the 4th of July! I apologize for only one photo, as we were on the food like jackals...
After dinner, my wife and I went for a ride down by the Grand River, which had flooded upstream and cancelled a big outdoor free concert of country music in Ionia, MI.. They were at capacity crowd, when they announced it was cancelled.. I almost drove over there to see that many pissed off red necks! Anyway I threw in a couple of photos of our mighty river... Have a good week everyone!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Two Suppers, And The Start Of A Treat...

Thursday night, I'm still preferring cold food opposed to "rib- sticking" food, so I made a Chef salad. Wife was going to get home late, so I precut and arranged all the topping you could choose from(cheese missing from photo!) I like to plate the lettuce, put dressing on the lettuce(Lord knows lettuce needs it!), then pile on the toppings- which don't need much flavor help! It hit the spot, with enough stuff left to make another salad for my wife's lunch...
This morning, I decided to tackle a task I planned on doing about Wednesday... You wonder why a man would cut tough meat, with the grain, mind you into seemingly useless strips? Dog knows. So does G-man. It was time to make a batch of Buffalo Dick's Beef Jerky! The marinate was made, I'll share a few ingredients: Worcester sauce, soy sauce, water, brown sugar, black pepper, garlic, onion powder, Montreal Steak seasoning,sea salt, hot sauce, and liquid smoke! Soaking 24hrs. refrigerated should do the trick. I'll use the dehydrator for a more consistent shape and doneness. It never lasts, my son hides it from his own girlfriend!
Tonight it is an Italian flavored stuffed pepper. The photo doesn't show the cheese I'll melt on the tops 10 minutes from finishing them. Italian sausage instead of hamburger, onions, celery, and pasta sauce with the rice... well, time to put them in the oven.. Everyone enjoy your weekends!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Definitely Not Hospital Food....

I got home from my adventure about 3PM Monday. I just wanted to get in my robe and rest in my house for a bit, before thinking about supper.. When my wife got home from work, she asked what sounded good- as she was well aware of my last five day menu! Oddly enough, I wasn't interested in having a big or heavy meal right away, I thought I'd ease into a normal diet slowly... There are a handful of foods that are touchstones for comfort; mac n cheese, chicken soup, grilled cheese and tomato soup, etc.... Probably my two comfort cold sandwiches are ham and cheese or bologna and cheese! We had some thick cut sandwich bologna, some Monterey Jack cheese, and with a little mayo, mustard, and lettuce on fresh whole white bread- it was just what this doctor ordered!
Next evening, feeling way better now, I made cheeseburgers and corn on the cob- most I've eaten in a week! Another spot was hit just right! Earlier that day I made a batch of pigs in the blanket for my son, who came over and cut the grass. I had a couple of those, saved two for my wife, and he ate the rest!
I'm going to venture out today (not too far or fast!) and try to get a few things done. Thanks for all your well wishes on last post!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Why I Have Been Missing....

I was admitted to the hospital Wed. for a blood transfusion- I get a bit anemic once in a while, and ended up stuck there for five days... Endoscopy, Ultra sound test and transfusions... Supposed to be for a day and a half! I first thing I did when I got home was build an altar in front of my spice storage drawer, and worshipped... They had put me on a liquids only for two days, and a low salt, bland diet for the rest of the stay. It was the worst food I have ever had in a hospital! The people were great, but the 24hr. a day activity in one of these places makes sleep difficult.
Anyway, on the mend now... I always go into the hospital saying "Woe is me", but after seeing some of the patients problems, I leave feeling fortunate.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Mini-Meme Time! The Two Question Format..

I haven't done one of these lately, and it is a bit serious in content....
!. What was the closest you have been to death or serious harm?
2. What was the closest thing to a miracle you have seen?
Me first, as usual... I almost died once, in Blue Earth, Minnesota... we were coming back from a less than successful hunt in Wyoming, when at 2AM we hit a log laying length wise in the Interstate. We clobbered it, went into a ditch and thought we were toast.. Stayed upright, got truck hauled and fixed, and were on our way..Another time in 2000, I was very sick. They put me in a drug induced coma for a week to heal..the next few days were pretty weird as I didn't know whether I was on foot or horseback.. Physical rehab, and I was good as almost new. The same thing was my miracle, as I had said goodbye to my family before they knocked me out...Nobody thought I was going to make it- but my heart, conditioned through being very active all my previous life was the factor..
We all have a story in us, let's hear yours... I feel better disclosing this right now..

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Filet Mignon, Sour Cream and Chive Scalloped Potatoes, and a Treat...

Scored a small beef tenderloin, at the unheard of price of $4.99 a lb.! Beef tenderloin does not have to be prime beef- the lowest quality one is still quite tender... My only "Beef" with tenderloin is that while very tender, it isn't as flavorful as some cuts of beef... Still, there is very little waste, and a great meal can be had from this cut of meat! I paired it with home made scalloped redskin potatoes, in a sour cream/chive side dish.. I use fresh, chopped onions, a white sauce, with parsley, fresh chives,sea salt & coarse ground pepper, and sour cream as a sauce- and of course, sliced potatoes! Covered and baked for 1 hour at 360F, then uncovered and baked for another 1/2 hour, they are tender and flavorful. My wife ate about a pound of them on her own! The banana bread is a dessert version, with chocolate chips in it.... Put peanut butter on it and Elvis will appear!
Wife is going to a play in town- Willy Wonka... I've got a golden ticket... Gene Wilder was Willy Wonka- Johnny Depp sucked!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Anniversary Dinner, And The Last Of The Home Made Bread

AS mentioned, June 2nd was our 36th Wedding Anniversary. We have celebrated this day in so many different ways throughout the years, I couldn't recall all of them! I got a pretty handy little deep fryer for Christmas, and have gotten better at using it. It is a running joke in our family, that if Mom goes out to eat, she will order shrimp! I now can safely say, I can make shrimp Tempura with the best of them! The key is to use ice water in the batter- it works miracles when crispy is what you're looking for! French fries were a given, as you have hot oil, a few potatoes( another passion of Frau Buff!)and any skill whatsoever at not burning something! We also had cheesecake for dessert.. Remember the one I made for Memorial Day? People don't realize these freeze very well, making them easier to cut into precise portions...
We tend to have heavy, then light meals- just to mix it up! I took the last of the home-made bread(now past prime!) and made French Toast with it. It really hit the spot! Haven't had it in a year, at least...
Wishing you all a great week-end, and I think I'm going to grill something...

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Sunday Dinner, As I Hinted At..

We were not looking for a meat-filled dish this day.... Upset tummies around here decided a pasta-veggie dish sounded better, along with some comforting home-made white bread.. Made two loaves of a white bread recipe that sounded somewhere in between "too sweet, but not bland".. Nailed it! I don't like stupid crusty bread, I like to be able to eat the bread(crust and all!) without cutting the roof of my mouth.. This was a dense, yet tasty bread- that only needed real butter to be a winner!
I had some Linguine noodles, and made an Alfredo sauce from scratch( butter, flour, milk, Italian seasoning, black pepper, salt, garlic, with grated Parmesan cheese!) added sauteed, sliced fresh mushrooms to the sauce- went over the pasta when all still hot... Rich and delicious! Linguine noodles are long and sticky- breaking them in half before simmering is a good idea!
Tonight, our Anniversary dinner is at home, with Shrimp Tempura, and french fries, with a bit of left over cheesecake... simple things done well... the older you get, the more this makes sense! Everyone, live your lives- and find some joy to appreciate!