Saturday, August 30, 2008
Long, long day's of kids fighting, being bored, needing money,wet towels,unmade beds, no bedtimes, friends in and out in and out, errands with many children in the back hating to do errends, and it seems lunch goes on all day . ENOUGH ALREADY GO!!!!
Go they did ,between us we said tearful (hehe) goodbye's to 10 sad children last week. Suzanne may say we miss summer already (in the column) but she was lying we are dancing with joy. (just kidding we love them dearly) and they are only gone for 6hrs, 15 min and 22 sec before they come home and need food, rides, homework help, playdates, conversation and lots of love. It really is good to be us :)
Friday, August 29, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
3 medium sized ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 medium cucumber, chopped
1 red or yellow or green sweet pepper, chopped
1 can small black pitted olives
1/4 cup minced red onion
3 tablespoons cider or balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons snipped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon snipped fresh oregano or ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta
Leaf lettuce (optional)
Put the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together the onion, vinegar, oil, herbs, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add to the veggies and toss gently. Chill until serving.
When ready to serve, line a salad bowl with leaf lettuce (optional). Spoon in the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with the feta cheese, and maybe a little more of the herbs.
Roasted Pepper Sandwiches
4 large Sweet Bell Peppers
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
3/4 pound deli sliced cheddar or other sliced cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
8 burger buns, toasted
Hold the pepper upright on a cutting board by the stem. Cut straight down the side of the pepper with a sharp knife taking off the entire side in one slice. Cut off the remaining three sides so that you have four fairly large, flat pieces of pepper. Drizzle the peppers with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Put the slices skin side down on a medium hot grill, turning when the peppers look soft and slightly charred.
Fit a slice of cheese into the pepper and leave on the grill until the cheese melts.
Serve 2 pieces on each bun and top with dilled Mayonnaise
This spread is a quick and easy way to add some flavor to even a standard burger. Robin likes the new mayo made with olive oil by Kraft -- yummy!
1cup of Mayonnaise
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
Salt and pepper to taste—start with ¼ teaspoon of each
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. This tastes best if made a few hours in advance.
Grilled Burgers with Garlic and Provolone
2 ½ lbs 80% lean ground beef
1 cup coarsely chopped provolone—1 small (4 ounce) package of sliced or a ¼ pound chunk from the deli counter.
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs – sage is good here
1 teaspoon kosher salt and ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
8 burger buns, toasted
Put all ingredients into a large bowl. Gently combine all ingredients by hand. Shape into 8 patties and refrigerate.
Grill on a medium hot grill for 4 minutes on each side for medium.
Serve with fresh lettuce and dill mayo for a nice twist on an old favorite
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
I can't imagine a better way to spend a beautiful sunny Sunday than washing 30 pairs of long underwear and about a hundred crusty, balled up ski socks.
The two bigs have just returned from an alpine race camp in Chile. Just what every teenager who's father has been recently RIF'd from a major financial institution needs this summer.
Is there a math major out there who can make a chart that plots the inverse proportion of number of dollars spent versus the mood of the returning campers? We call it Camp Reentry Syndrome and it seems that the longer they go, and the more we spend, the surlier they are upon return.
I see too that one of the maroon metal tubs we use for wine and beer at our Christmas parties has migrated from the basement to the mudroom --what could that mean? I was not home last night and I'd be a little worried if I didn't know these pigs better. It's been almost 30 years since I've been a teenager, but I am fairly certain that any beer that might have been consumed in my absence last night was not attractively displayed on ice in a metal tub. RIGHT? right? help!
Friday, August 15, 2008
As you can see this group may be happy to go, but not as happy as I am. One back to college, 2 to the high school, 1 to middle school and 2 to elementry, That just leaves me home most days...... to do all the stuff they require of me....... in peace :) We Can Do this...Yes We Can R
I am, that's for damn sure!
It has been a long haul and we've had some challenges, but Peter and I are so grateful for how far Hayden has come, and we are totally thrilled (and relieved) that he is finally off to kindergarten this fall.
All my kids are out diapers before I had to go into them.
We are so excited that Hayden will be at Walker School. Never mind that our hearts still ache for Dewey, and that we'll have two at Concord High and two at Kimball, and our youngest, most frail and pale, small but mighty , self proclaimed "big boy kid"will be aloooooone; the proposed combination of Walker and Kimball will be great for all our children and for our community.
Here he is on the playground with Peter, having just spent an hour in the ever so capable hands of Diane Johnston and Jan Smith.
No kids home every week day from 7:30 to 2:30? What ever will I do with myself?
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
2 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and sliced thin
1 small onion, cut in half and then into very thin slices
1 medium zucchini, chopped into small chunks
2 medium tomatoes, chopped into small chunks
3/4 cup sour cream
teaspoon salt and and pepper to taste.
Chopped fresh herbs or ½ teaspoon dried sage or thyme
½ cup shredded cheese – cheddar or monteray jack
Salsa and more sour cream for serving, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Boil the potatoes for 3 minutes in salted water. Drain well and set aside
Heat a cast iron skillet or another heavy pan that can go into the oven oven on the stove over medium heat. Warm the olive oil and add the drained potatoes and onion. Push around the pan for about 6-7 minutes on medium heat, until the potatoes start to brown and the onions are soft. Add the zucchini and the tomatoes and continue cooking until the zucchini softens, about 3 minutes. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl with a whisk. Add the sour cream and the herbs and beat until combined. Add the cheese. Add the salt and several grindings of black pepper. Pour the egg mixture on top of the vegetables and slide the skillet into the oven. Roast until the eggs are set in the center, about 20 minutes Remove from the oven and cut into 8 wedges. Serve hot or at warm room temperature.
Makes 6 generous servings @ $.86/serving
Fruit Crisp – for eight. If this is too much, halve all ingredients and bake in an 8 or 9 inch square pan.
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup quick cook oats (not instant)
1 stick butter, very soft
4 cups fresh fruit: 6 medium peaches and 1 cup raspberries or
any combination of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or 8 medium peaches or
8 apples peeled and sliced.
Approx ½ cup sugar
Vanilla ice cream, optional.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Put the fruit into a large shallow baking pan, like a pyrex or decorative ceramic dish. Add the ½ cup sugar or more to taste and mix well. Set aside.
Dump the flour, sugar oats and butter into a medium bowl. Mash together with a fork, working in the butter until the mixture comes together into clumps. Sprinkle this over the fruit making a thick even covering. Bake for about 35-40 minutes until the topping is dark brown and the fruit is bubbling.
Serve warm with ice cream if desired.
Makes 8 generous servings @ $.81/serving
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Cast Iron Pans (and stomachs)
Here is my fabulous stove. I think that it retails for about $300 down at the Sears store. It actually looks pretty good in this picture. You can't see the missing oven handle. Or the disgustingly blackened burner pans. Or the horribly dirty interior. Which I will never again try to clean. That oven cleaner that comes in the spray can is weapons grade deadly. I nearly passed out the one and only time I attempted to clean the damn thing, and even though I was gasping and light headed, the crust remained firmly stuck to the bottom. I now prefer to think of it as patina.
This stove burns the bejebus out of everything if you let it. In the three years that I have been cooking on the stove, I have determined that the only way to tame the beast is to cook in cast iron pans. They really are the solution to stove and oven problems. they are so heavy and thick, they temper the heat of the burners and I can cook anything without any sort of hot spot of burnt stuff on the bottom.
Cast iron lasts forever. The pan in the column photo I bought in Annapolis on New Year's Eve in 1989 to make a Tart Tatin for a dinner party that night. It is still in perfect condtion. I also have a much larger cast iron skillet and a cast iron dutch oven. There is great looking pizza pan on display at Things are Cooking on Main Street that I also have my eye on.
I mentioned in the column that cast iron skillets are available at the Salvation Army store all the time. If you get one, follow the directions below to restore the pan. If you get a new pan, it should come with directions for seasoning. If there are no directions, just skip the first two steps.
- Fill the pan with water. Boil on the stove for 10 minutes and let cool.
- Scrub the whole thing with steel wool. Feel the bottom and sides with your hands. There should be no lumps or bumps (pits are fine) or rust. There should be no rancid smell. If there is, keep going!
- Wipe the whole interior of the pan with a flavorless oil like corn or canola. Use enough oil that it puddles in the bottom of the pan.
- Place in a 200 degree oven for 1 hour.
- Let pan cool and wipe it out. It is now seasoned and ready for use.
- After using the seasoned pan, clean it carefully and put it on the stove on low heat to dry.
- Smear with a tiny bit of oil on a papertowl before putting it away.
I'll show you the interior of my refrigerator on Halloween...
If you are new to our blog, welcome! If you had any doubts that Robin and I were the two biggest idiots on the planet, this blog should settle the question in about 5 seconds.
Ken Williams came to shoot the photos for Wednesday's column and he is just amazing. Skilled, charming, funny, calm...I snapped this picture with my blackberry at the end of the session. In the hours since I have been carving off slices of the fritatta just to clean up the edges and make them even. I am now so full that I can barely move, and I think there will not be enough left for dinner. Clearly my inability to stop stuffing my face is a distinct downside to having dinner ready at 10:30 in the morning.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
the smaller set needs constant nourishment. Mom can I have a snack Mom can I have a drink I hear these requests in my sleep with a few other choice phrases as well.
However, the thing that is most difficult to manage is how many for dinner, it varies 5 to 16, and Lately I am missing the mark, for example Friday evening most of my people are home on Fridays. I plan the mussels for this night. Great meal everyone should be pleased.
I even plan on having it a little later than usual to so most should be home form work and other activities, so I have the enormous bowl of mussels in the delicious sauce with mounds of fettuccine all ready for the rush!!!!!!!!Guess what It ended up being 5 for dinner and 3 did not like mussels :)
Tonite, not expecting a big group one large package of hamburg, 6 or 7 rolls a large bowl of my stay fresh salad, we are set to go, Oh No!!!!! The house was over run with people, 4 extra for dinner for a total of 12, I will admit tonight there was a few bowls of cereal served but we fed many( I was thankful for the cheeseburger haters ) and we had wonderful time in the process, Our tummy's may have not been over full but our heart's were filled to the brim.
So my house is crazy this time of year and every other time of the year as well. So it is a good thing I can fly by the seat of my pants and laugh at the same time :)
16 days till school :)
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Ran out of water in the pan of green beans,yummy! , burnt the base for the mussels,smelly !
veggie burgers left unattended on the grill to long makes for very healthy hockey pucks, but with a nice dill mayo I mananged to save the meal :)
The stove is not my friend burners stop working for no apparent reason, I think I have everything under control not so much the water is still not boiling for god's sake, it is not even hot !!!!!!! Well we did all survive ! Instead of the frugal feast's we had frugal just not much taste, oh well can't win them all, I may be fired from my day job as chief cook and bottle washer.
I hope next week will be better and only 17 days left until school starts :) ahhhhhhhhhhhhh
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Many were missed and thought of each day with much love and prayers.....
Back to work we go Hi Ho :)