Saturday, April 29, 2017
Hey Mom! What's for Supper??
El Nino my A**Abby, No HBO words! But it is a good day for a warm cheesy casserole. How about biscuit topped chicken pot pie. This is a great, comfort food meal, on a chilly Spring night. It's also one that several friends with small children/grandchildren have made and EVERYONE raved about it, the little ones (and husbands) having seconds.
With canned biscuits - it's surprisingly easy to put together and if you are vegetarian you can replace the meat with Gardein "chickn" nuggets or extra veggies including potatoes.
2/3 cup mayo (don't use low or non-fat kind)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
two pinches of crushed red pepper
dash or two of salt and pepper
3 and 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
2 and 1/2 cups chopped veggies (if frozen - thaw but don't cook)
1 medium onion chopped
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
2-3 tubes refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (if using the smaller four pack of bargain biscuits it will take a few biscuits shy of 3 tubes. If using homemade biscuits you'll need a couple of dozen).
I have to segue into a story - many years ago, I was on leave as a pilot when we were alerted to a nearby robbery and possible explosive device. It seems a man (with a pegleg, seriously you can't make this stuff up) robbed a jewelry store a couple blocks away from where myself, another pilot, and a couple MP friends were getting lunch. The robber pointed at a shiny tube in his coat and said it was a bomb and to do what he said. Suddenly there was a popping sound from beneath his coat and the clerk said, "that's not a BOMB, that's a tube of Pillsbury biscuits!" and the man ran from the store. A man with pegleg covered in biscuit dough was pretty easy to identify and he was soon apprehended.
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons celery seed
Heat oven to 375 F. Saute chopped onion in a tablespoon of butter or olive oil to caramelize and release the sweetness. In a very large bowl, mix onion with soup, mayo, Worcestershire, red and black pepper, salt, chicken and veggies. Transfer to a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch glass casserole or lasagna pan. Sprinkle with cheese, cover with foil and bake at 375 F.for 20 minutes.
It's important you get the filling very hot before you put the biscuits on, or they will not bake properly.
While it cooks, separate the biscuits and cut in half.
In a bowl, combine sour cream, celery seed, eggs and salt, whisk up with a fork and set aside.
Remove casserole and place biscuits, cut side down over hot chicken mixture, about an inch apart. (If using canned biscuits, you will have a few biscuits left, save for later or freeze). Pour the sauce over the top and spread with a spatula.
With the 13 x 9 pan, it's enough for a large family and freezes well. The recipe also cuts in half easily to make an 8 x 8 pan.
*Cream of Cluck Soup
Makes about 4 cups worth, I put in separate freezer containers and freeze and thaw and use as needed.
4 cup half and half or whole milk
2 and 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon melted butter
2 teaspoons white sugar
chicken bullion cube
2 cups finely chopped, cooked chicken meat
1/4 teaspoon salt (I use Jane's Krazy Mixed up Salt - a salt/herb blend which has less sodium than table salt).
pinch of sage
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cloves roasted garlic finely chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder).
Make a white sauce of milk (or half and half), flour, and melted butter. Add chicken. Add sugar, salt, pepper,sage and garlic (may use more or less as desired). Mix well and simmer for 20 minutes over low heat.
If soup is not as thick as desired, mix a small amount of cornstarch with a small amount of water and whisk in slowly to soup. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Friday, April 28, 2017
But when the machinery/tooling he has designed goes funky because someone tried to"improve" it, he's usually on a plane to one of many countries to back-engineer it to correct it. I am probably not one of many wives that hears "honey, I won't be home for dinner, I'm on my way to China. don't drink the last beer", but I know I'm not the only one. But it's more work here around the homestead when he is gone, especially with a dog, a full-time job, and a long commute. With the bad knee I have a dog walker, so Abby and I usually do pretty well "bacheloring" it. But Thursday was NOT one of thse days.
For you see, Abby Lab can't do grains. Think Poonami or Poonado. I found that out the hard way during our first long road trip after we adopted her and I fed her some grocery store dog kibble.
I didn't realize there was a cup of treats in the kitchen freezer, in a crunched up brown bag, we'd tucked in there and then forgotten, the majority of our frozen stuff gone into the chest freezer in the walkout basement.
Until I partially defrosted the ice tray.
Until the burrito incident.
For you see, when I melted some of the ice on the shelf for the ice cube tray, some of that melted water dripped down and refroze to other food items below. Not an issue if it's plastic, but an issue if it's a brown paper bag of dog treats.
So when I pulled out my DIY chicken bean burrito with gluten free tortilla in foil, which had frozen to the dog treat package - the treat package ruptured and treats SPEWED out of the freezer onto the floor.
General Electric PINATA!
Abby was estatic as the refigeration SPEWED out a cup of dog treats on the floor.
I had a big mess to clean.
Once I got the remaining treats Abby hadn't snarfed rounded up, I shut off the power to the outlets in the kitchen so the fridge didn't try and cool itself in the process and got out the hair dryer and defrosted the whole thing. When it was ice free, I added a lot of cold stuff back in from the basement freezer to normalize the temperature and then turned the power back on so the 60+ year old moter didn't die of over-exertion.
Finally, she settled down after I gave her ONE treat and her Angry Bird toy.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
When's Dad coming home?
My husband is on the road and I teleworked starting pretty early, which left a number of hours to get some things done around here after the dog walker took Abby out. If you wonder why I pay for a walker when I'm home - I am missing quite a bit of the meniscus in my right knee after a really bad fall on ice 5 years ago (Barkley, Steps, Female Retriever in Heat - end of story and end of the knee). At certain angles, it's bone on bone. Even though she behaves for the most part if Abby gets excited she will dart to one side or another which is very painful and may tear what little support ligaments I have left in there. So when my husband is on the road - she gets at least one very long walk with the walker (a retired female postal carrier who Abby ADORES) and several play sessions with Mom and toys in the fenced back yard.
Sometimes I miss all of that. But I never looked back.
Telework dog watches Mom carefully to make sure she doesn't waste taxpayers money.
We've done all the work ourselves (I mostly hold things and make sandwiches) It's still only 1200 sq. feet on the main floor (equal space in walk out partially finished basement. Space upstairs could be bed and half bath but with just the two of us, we'll leave it as we'd have to lose a closet to put in permanent stairs.
But it's a project and with the major renovation there's dust, and there's stuff moved into other rooms and well, our bedroom looked like a bomb had gone off in it, it being a tiny room at the back of the house, When he bought the place and when he met me, the bungalow was set up with a very fancy master bedroom at the front of the house. There was beautiful wood work, huge windows that cover a full wall on one side, and small windows on the other wall, and it's way bigger than the other rooms with the exception of the living/dining area. When I first saw it, I had grand plans - "we could knock out a wall, bringing the woodworking around into the new entryway and add a fireplace!" My husband just looked at me and said, "how 'bout we start with just hanging up some pictures in the new back bedroom."
I took a picture and sent it to him at his hotel and he much liked how cozy it looked.
So Abby - what say you and me celebrate with a treat - you can have Lamb and Potato, mine will be the Chardonnay variety.
MMMM. Treats. Girl's Nite Out!!! (Can I invite Ruby over?)
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
But it made me smile as on one of my last visits out to my Dad, we went to the grocers. He likes to flirt with the ladies in the flower section and just generally wander around and say hi to people (it's a small town, everyone around the neighborhood knows Dad).
One day though, the check out lines were slow and I could see my 96-year-old Dad was getting a bit bored. When the clerk's back was turned helping yet another shopper with "how to use a chip card", Dad picked up the mic they call for assistance or price checks with and with a perfect Elvis imitation said (where it boomed out to the entire store):
"The is Elvis - open up the bakery".
You can get away with that stuff when they're old, or furry. :-)
Monday, April 24, 2017
For now, I'll go park by Ruby's Margarita truck and start getting the food set up on tables. Rather than serve from the catering truck we have a surprise today.
Let's see what's on the party menu today
There's something for everyone so dive in folks.
Hey Blogville - where did Abby go?
For more surfing action visit:
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Tell that to the furry alarm clock. Normally she doesn't bark in the morning, even if we sleep til 8 or 9 after a late night flight home. But this morning promptly at seven the bark alarm went off. My husband let her out then she came back in
"Did she have to go?", I asked.
"No," he said. "She just wanted to lick the dew off the grass".
"Might as well get up and make something nice for breakfast", I said.
What are you going to make Mom?
Popovers. These are so worth buying a pan from Williams and Sanoma. They can be made in a muffin pan but won't be as high and fluffy. I've made them often enough I don't need a recipe but the recipe IS from my favorite vegetarian cookbook "The New Moosewood Cookbook".
Spray popover pan with non-stick spray.
In one bowl mix:
4 small or 3 large room temperature eggs (let sit out a bit or run under a bit of warm water)
1 and 1/4 cup milk or almond milk
1 and 1/4 cups flour (regular or King Arthurs gluten free adding 1/4 tsp xanthan gum if you do)
1/2 tsp salt.
Divide 3 Tablespoons of butter into six pieces. Place 1 in each popover cup. Place in oven to melt while you finish mixing (you will then remove the hot pan and place batter in it.
Mix wet and dry ingredients, whisking with a fork. Do not over mix. The batter will be lumpy but you shouldn't see globs of raw flour in it.
Do NOT peek, unless it smells like they are burning
You never give me PUP-overs. I'm calling the SPCA!
Put the phone down Abby, you can have a piece of the bacon.