Scatter-shot

This is just a quick, drive-by post.

Do you have broken windows?  (Click over… they’re more akin to pet peeves than shattered glass.)  For me, it’s missing a wog – walk-run – with the dogs due to circumstances beyond my control, having a cluttered front porch, hand/fingerprints on doors and walls, not finishing my to-do list at work…

I have an FO (finished object for non-knitters), but no photos.  Stand by.

I have read several books and am lost in Trenton, NJ at the moment.  So far, I’ve been unable to make myself sick of Stephanie Plum and her zany friends and relations.  I think it’s because I can relate.  I remember the first time I told my father I was going to be a writer.  His dark mocha eyes twinkled and he said, “It’ll have to be fiction, even if it’s biographical; no one would believe it was true.”

41MA5cxy7xL._SL190_SY246_CR0,0,190,246_I wear a size larger in Sanita clogs than Danskos.  Oh… and when I say clogs, I always mean closed-backs.  These are shinier and sparklier in person.  My idea of a great pair of shoes – or boots – is when the Knight and my (male) co-workers say something obnoxious about my footwear.  Maybe that’s why I like our “guest” technician; he seems to genuinely appreciate my slightly flashy choice in shoes.

51OM+b6ku+L._SL246_SX190_CR0,0,190,246_And speaking of boots…  I might have snagged another pair of Ariat boots.  These are kiddo sized, and they fit perfectly.  Ariat boots really are built for all-day wear.  I’ve tried to explain to one of my co-workers that my “wooden clogs” and my “stiff boots” support my feet well and aren’t just a fashion statement.

Yeah, they’re PANK and calf-hair leopard, and they’re ridiculously comfortable, right out of the box.  Now, if the snow would GO AWAY so I could wear them more…

And I still owe you a CAbi post too.  There just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Oh – and you absolutely have to try this recipe.  A friend brought it Sunday night, and even though I thought I hated mango, I shoveled it in, maybe even with both fists.  Eating well doesn’t mean suffering… until I think about the good ol’ days when I ate shrimp two times a day sometimes.

What’s new with you?

 

Pasta Party!

Many of you already follow Louise of Months of Edible Celebrations, so you know why I’m posting.  I wish I could claim that I chose October 25th as our wedding day because it’s Pasta Day… but I had no idea.  But now YOU know, and you also are getting a sneak peek into the Knight’s famous Pasta Goulash.

UntitledPlease…  I know goulash has a definition and this ain’t it, but back before the man became quite the cook – and smoker chef extraordinaire – he created this flexible, dependable, quick mess, and that’s what he calls it.  Don’t let the misnomer or the simplicity turn you off; I’ve had pregnant friends demand the formula during that pre-delivery nesting phase, and returning JLC board members would be disappointed if *I* cooked on my night to host the pre-meeting meal.  Even though I have a meaty lasagna to be proud of, THIS is what people ask for, time and time again.

Ingredients:

1 box (or more!) of any bite-sized pasta, cooked and drained

1 lb. of ground meat, cooked, drained, crumbled

4 oz. pepperoni (we prefer the minis)

1 jar meat sauce or the equivalent from your freezer

grated cheese

Italian seasonings

So…  This is really more of a formula than a recipe.  This recipe is easily halved to serve 2 generous portions, or doubled to serve a small army.  We’ve used elbows, mini shells, corkscrews, ziti and more, and really, this dish is goulash-like in that is all about what’s available.

While the pasta and the ground meat are cooking, dump the sauce into a pan and start warming it up too.  Then, when the pasta and meat are ready, glop it all together.  The Knight NEVER uses the same combination of seasonings and/or meat twice.  When we’re using unseasoned ground meat, the seasonings go in the meat while it cooks, but he flies by the seat of his pants and seasons non-stop, even after the food is served.

Of course, the cheese is the final touch.

When you reheat, add more sauce.

Do let me know if you give it a try.  My cook runs on compliments and flattery.

Picnic Game 2013

Welcome to the Picnic Game 2013!  Hold on, wait a minute…

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Before you spread out your blanket and start fixing your plate, let’s give credit where credit is due.  Many thanks to our event coordinator and hostess supreme, Louise of Months of Edible Celebrations.  Be sure to visit her, and all of the other food-fixin’ bloggers.

Now, let’s get started.

I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing…

Aloo Gobi courtesy of Mae

Aloo Gobi courtesy of Mae

… Aloo Gobi, made by Mae

and…

Blueberry-Cucumber Salsa!

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I was inspired by Budget Gourmet Mom’s Cucumber, Blueberry and Mint Salsa recipe, but since I had the letter “B” for the picnic game, I needed to rename it.  And since we don’t stock agave nectar, the substitutions began.

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 cup English cucumber, chopped (blueberry sized pieces?)

1/2 tablespoon local blueberry honey

1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice

3 roughly chopped mint leaves

Toss berries and cucumber.  Drizzle honey and lime juice on top, then gently fold in mint.  Serve with whatever you have in the pantry that suits you.

UntitledSissy and Gg had Pretzel Crisps.  (No corn)  I had regular Wheat Thins.  I liked the Wheat Thins better.  It would be great to tote to any picnic or poolside, or even on a hike, as nothing in the dish is particularly perishable.  As Louise was kind enough to invite the fur-girls, I wanted to bring something they could eat and their human friends might enjoy too.  The Knight wouldn’t try it, but he doesn’t like blueberries or honey very much, so…  he got a pass this time.

What’s your favorite picnic recipe?

Any picnic plans with the 4th of July right around the corner?

Birthdays Abound

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Dadaw Knight boxing with his best girls...

Today’s one of the most important days in my life.  It’s the Knight’s birthday!  Facebook also reminded me that two other delightful friends were also born on this day.  Only one blogs, so wish Frank well in your heart (he does field trials with his dogs, so I know y’all’d love him) and pop over and visit Barbara

There are several other special birthdays coming up but I hesitate to mention anyone for fear of overlooking someone.   Still… I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that the kind and wonderful Alison and the sweet and funny Barbara (yes, a different one) will be celebrating in the next few days too!  (That 2nd Barbara is having one of those milestone birthdays, so if you only click over for one…)

Photo from Recipegirl.com

I didn’t get any photos at the cookie swap, nor were there any recipes to share.   I will borrow from Recipe Girl via Pinterest and show you what I took and the link to the recipe is within as well.  Sissy does want it known that she unwillingly donated the peppermints to the cause.  No candy canes were harmed in the making of said cookies at our house. 

If you’re game, go visit Amy and share your must-make-eat-have holiday recipe!   I think I’ve shared mine before, but it’s that time of year when I need to create my baking list and make a plan…

What’s ahead for your weekend?  If you’re local, look for the League “float” (golf cart) tomorrow in the Downtown parade.

Picnic Game

Who doesn’t love a picnic?!  Louise at Months of Edible Celebrations is hosting the picnic game, which I must confess, I don’t recall playing as a child.   I do remember seeing other girls sitting in large circles, clapping and reciting and laughing, but I don’t remember participating.  I was probably playing soccer or lacrosse with the boys…

At any rate, what started as me being silly led to this post and our offering for the picnic.  I don’t have a go-to picnic recipe.  I’m known as the baker in my family and with my inlaws, but there’s no one thing I’m routinely asked to bring to our summer gatherings.  So, I joked with Louise that Sissy would want me to bring dog biscuits, and being a fan of my silly mutts, Louise jumped right on it!

Without further delay, here’s my first (to the best of my recollection!) attempt at the picnic game!

I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing:

A:  Apricot Cobbler from Mae

B: Banana Cream Pie from Marjie

C:  Cherries in a Jar from Barbara

D: DIVA Doggy Bites

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Of course, when Sissy demands special treats, they must be CUSTOM creations, partly because she has food allergies, but mostly because she is a DIVA and it really is all about her more often than not in our little house in the woods.

Since I’m guessing many of you are visitors not well-versed in my special-needs dog’s world, she is highly allergic to corn and chicken, and corn starch is a popular dog treat ingredient.  She’s also sensitive to pork, beef and basically any animal flesh except rabbit. 

This is where I confess that life got in the way, so last night, I flew by the seat of my pants.  I’m delighted to report that what we created is perfect, according to the DIVA and the wee one.

DIVIA Doggy Bites

2 cups Bisquick

1 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup cottage cheese

1 medium to large ripe banana

1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine all ingredients in a food processor (or blender).  Mix until smooth.   Spread WET dough evenly on a greased jelly roll pan (I used a Pampered Chef large bar pan).  Bake 20 minutes.  Turn oven off, but leave pan in until the dough is as brown as you desire.

Cool 5 minutes in pan, on a cooling rack, then slice into whatever your dog(s) consider bite-sized pieces.  Remove to rack for continued cooling, then package in air-tight containers or freeze.

photoOf course, they’re DIVA approved.  I couldn’t use her title without her blessing.  And if you must know, they are BITES because the normally gentle gal did jam one tooth into my finger last night while I was trying to take photos, because she felt I was teasing her and she was trying to grab her yum and run!!

Yes, it’s an odd flavor pairing, but they are two of the fur-girls favorites, and they seem to find it an irresistible combination.  I held a treat in my mouth while I took more photos this morning, and it wasn’t vile.  Everything is human grade, so you could eat them if you desired.

photoGretchen likes them too, in case you were wondering.   Look for future versions with pumpkin and pear, peanut butter and more!

Do your dogs like “vegetarian” treats?  If so, what flavors?

Thanks Louise for inviting ALL of us to the picnic.  Gretchen is happy to share HER treats with any of the other dogs present. 

Do you have a go-to, often-requested picnic recipe?  Would you share it with me, even if you’re not playing the picnic game with us?

Oh – and do let us know if you and your dogs try the recipe.  Feedback is always appreciated!

To Brussels with Love

Seems Yahoo and Flickr are having serious issues, so today you get the recipe that made me love brussel sprouts, since everything else requires Flickr’s cooperation.

Gretchen did a nice Thank You note post about her new favorite toy.  I guess Sissy’s allergy eyes are still bothering her, because I know she was grateful enough to write her own note…  Hem. 

So, about those brussel sprouts.  I’ve always loved cabbage, cooked, raw, or otherwise, but my whole life, people have been trying to convince me that I like brussel sprouts.  I’ve tried them, but they were always bitter, slimy, mushy on the outside and firm on the inside and just generally unappealing.

Until I unknowingly met them Black Pelican style.   No, I wouldn’t have intentionally ordered them, not even there – our favorite restaurant in the Outer Banks – but they came disguised as vegetable du jour.  We never bothered to ask, because everything there is always fabulous.  The Knight had one dry heave when he saw them, and immediately began isolating them from his mashed potatoes.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

I remembered that Anita swore I’d just never had properly prepared “BS”, so after swallowing hard and mentally pinching my nose, I speared the smallest half of one sprout I saw and prepared for the worst.  Instead, there was a little happy dance in my mouth, and I barely minded my manners and swallowed before I said a little too loudly in an off-season dining room, “OH MY!”

The Knight looked concerned.  I’m allergic to scallops, so when we’re near seafood, there’s always a chance…  I immediately launched into an explanation, begging him to try…  Oh well.  More for me, right?!

I’ve never had much success asking for recipes when I fall in love at a restaurant, but OBX does Southern style hospitality, so I wasn’t shocked when the manager happily bobbed back to the kitchen and came back with detailed instructions, and then thanked ME for liking them enough to ask!  Since I’m not a big-time blogger and no one said anything about not sharing, you know I have to pass it along, just in case one of you actually likes brussel sprouts too.

Start with fresh, small brussel sprouts.  Boil the sprouts until just tender, then remove then to a cold “bath”.  Slice each in half.  In a metal saucepan, heat up a liberal quantity of olive oil.  Add some fresh, chopped garlic, and as soon as the garlic beings to brown, quickly toss the sprouts in, removing immediately from the heat.  Add sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

I think I need some tonight!  If you want a proper recipe, I think this one is pretty close.

Stepping In

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Worried gal fall 2009

Gretchen here.   Mama will be out of commission for a few days.  Please forgive her if she doesn’t leave a comment on your blog, and overlook the typos if she does…

She “shaved” off her nail and part of her left middle finger last night while making THESE.  They were quite tasty, and if you use a proper cheese knife instead of something too sharp for the job, I’m sure you’ll whip them up in no time, without incident.

Photo courtesy of Pampered Chef

Mama had planned a whole post on the Honey-Apple Brie Bites, but I don’t see that happening.   Have a great weekend, and Mama’ll be back soon enough.  She really is fine…  I promise. 

Oh – and Sissy might have a silly nurse’s hat, but she’s not much on tending to the injured.  I had to press up against Mama’s legs while she tried to stop the bleeding and put away the brie so Sissy wouldn’t eat it while she took care of herself.  I’m a worrier, you know…

Have a great weekend, and a great week next week.  Dadaw and I will take great care of Mama!