Monday, December 31, 2007

Hair Chicken

Last night, we invited one of Henry's friends, just back from college, to join us for supper and a play (Black Comedy, entertaining and fun). Naturally one of the first questions was "So how is your roommate?"

Did you know there are people who measure their hair as a hobby? And then blog about it? Who knew? Interesting person, although perhaps one with not much in common with her roommates.

Almost as odd as people who blog daily about what they eat, I suppose.

We had grilled (another perfect BBQ night, according to John) chicken marinated in rum and lime juice, the usual immoderate vat of brown Basmati rice, snow peas and carrots, salad, pears, apples and kiwis. Oxford Landing cab.

I Googled measuring hair, and sure enough. There seems to be quite a community of hair measurers.
Way more food bloggers though.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Duck soup!

We have had a helluva two weeks - 100-year old grandmother passing away, Natalie cold/cough/fever and just in - pink eye! At one point we went straight from the cemetary to the urgent care clinic, now that's fun! Anyone want to come for a late night shift? I hate to admit it but we've had both In-n-Out and McDonalds in the past few days.

Yesterday we went to the Chinese grocery store to stock up on some supplies like hoisin sauce, bean sauce, fresh noodles and vegetables. Based on how much you spend there, the grocery store gives you coupons for their deli section. In that section, they have roast duck, roast chicken, bbq pork, and bunch of other foods that you'd have to see to believe. We picked up half a roast duck.

For dinner, we had some egg noodles in duck broth with mung beans and the Chinese variation of romaine lettuce. It was some of the tastiest roast duck ever. Or maybe it's just that there is no comparison between a McDonald's Big Mac and roast duck. Achoo!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Alaska, Oy Vey! Oy Vey!

Well, I had to say something in response to my daughter so far from home.

Last night we had baked chicken for dinner. I like baked chicken, it's a procedure that my mother stole from a friend of hers and it's pretty easy. All you do is roll the pieces in flour, dip in beaten eggs, milk and buttermilk and then roll in bread crumbs (oh, wait I forgot the step when you go to the pantry and slap yourself on the forehead and say "Oh shit!" because there are no bread crumbs) seasoned with basil, oregano and parsley. Then you bake at 350 until it's done. About a half an hour or two glasses of wine later. I heated up the last of the kasha and steamed some broccoli and tossed a salad.

My version is not quite as good as Nancy's fried chicken but it is crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside.


Kasha, man do I love kasha. Technically it is usually called bulgur but it is something that Aunt Ruth (alev shalom) used to make, or maybe Alice the maid made it, and I always loved it. I think that this is where I first had the dish where it is mixed with bow tie noodles that I have mentioned many weeks ago. Two carbohydrates in one dish? You betcha tiger!

The other good thing about it is that it is pretty idiot proof. I add onions, celery and garlic to my kasha. Usually I add mushrooms but we had a guest that does not eat mushrooms so I left them out. If any of you in the "lower 48" are reading this remember to send us a box and many thanks to Cousin Martha for sending this box.


I am glad that my daughter is carrying on the family tradition of checking wine lists while on the road. Way to go Bird! I will make sure the folks at Vineyard Brands sit up and take notice.


Nancy is correct that I am not as wildly enthusiastic about squash as she is but I did like the soup she made the other night. A hot bowl of soup in this weather is always welcome. I rarely make soup any more. After having made roughly 10-15 gallons every other day for eight years cured me of that. Occasionally I will make Minestrone because it's another excuse to eat pasta and if I clean out the freezer and find little scraps of fish I will make Chowder. Henry likes chowder and once a year I can stand.


Nancy is also correct that I tend to be a bit of a curmudgeon about Christmas and I am sorry. The Prime Rib "incident" that she is referring to happened about eight years ago. I cooked a Prime Rib up at Nancy's mom's house in Haines for Christmas. It was perfectly cooked when I took it out of the over but due to some combination of fatigue and wine my carving job was a joke. It looked like I had gone at it with a screwdriver. I still don't know how it happened but I learned my lesson and it has not happened since.

I also like having leftover Prime Rib bones for lunch the day after Christmas.


I am glad to see a contribution on the blog from our friends Candy and Dick. Candy, we note, did not laugh when I asked her for help on a Christmas present for Nancy that I did get organized to execute. She could have laughed because she made the Christmas gift that Nancy gave me, although I think that secretly Nancy wanted it also. It is a hand made Adarondack bench that has a painted salmon as a back rest. It's way cool.

So what did you make with all of those lemons and lime?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Alaska, mon dieu

Wonderful things are being eaten in the wonderful land of Palma de Mallorca, which is as close to paradise as I think you can get. With the exception of the hoards of germans that have discovered the island and are now quietly taking over. James was tickled that we found a real estate company called Engel and Volkers.

The hostel is fabulous, equipped with a roof-top terrace and cafe-con-leches. Every morning as we take our breakfast on the terrace, there is a cute old french couple enjoying the sun and having some fruit for breakfast as well. They also bring up their radio and play classical music, which makes for an enjoyable atmosphere. One day, after noticing that james had wiped the condensation off of the table top with his hand, the french man started talking to us. After a few pleasantries, he inquired as to where we were from. We replied "alaska" and he cried "ALASKA! Mon dieu! Mon dieu!" and then went wandering around the terrace muttering "Alaska! Mon dieu, mon dieu." It was very cute.

But the food. The food is great. Our first night here, tired and bitter from missing trains and having to fork over a lot of euros, James and I stumbled into the only restaurant still serving. And a good thing nothing else was open, because it was probably one of the best meals I've ever had! We both got lamb ribs that were rubbed with apricots (perhaps apricot chutney? James says) and stuffed with rosemary. THEN there was the potato/olive/garlic puree which made both of us giddy with happiness. Needless to say, we were very happy to have finally arrived in Palma and we could put our bags down for a few days while we enjoyed sunshine and good food. Tapas anyone?

Also, my father will be pleased to know that thus far I have only been in perhaps one restaurant that did not serve Marqes de Caceres. (sp?)

Butternut Squash, still not a family fave

Personally, I like the orange winter squashes: Acorn, Butternut, Delicata, all those. I don't think my family shares my enthusiasm. At one point, when Ren was still in a high chair, and I served a puree of butternut squash, she poked at it a bit, and then stood up in her chair to announce that she knew what to do with it: "You know that thing in the sink that goes 'rrr rrr rrr' and the food goes away?"
So the other night I made a puree of butternut squash soup with candied spiced nuts as a garnish, accompanied by a spinach salad with hot beet chips, roasted onions, and goat cheese with a faint balsamic dressing, and cheese grits from the wonderful bag of grits we received as a gift for Christmas.

I liked it. Had it all for lunch the next day too.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Holiday Meals

We don't have too many "traditions" connected with the Christmas holiday, in fact I think if it was up to John, and perhaps the children, we'd just sit in our chairs and read and let the day go by unmarked, but once upon a time, a long time ago, for Christmas Eve we adopted the menu John's mom would serve then: Spaghetti. It's easy, fast, can be made to feed lots of folks or few, and everyone likes it.

So Christmas Eve: Invite old friends, the families we raised our kids together with, the kids home from college mostly and so good to see them growing into such wonderful adults, one just passed her CPA exams! and invite Uncle Thad and Aunt Lynn who always fly away on Christmas Day. John made the spaghetti, someone brought garlic bread, there was a yummy baby Romaine salad with dried cranberries or cherries and nuts, a melty bread pudding studded with raisins and dressed with rum sauce, and a cheesecake. J sparkling wine, Belgium and Alaskan beers, some red wines, and the conversations about 'how are you liking school' and so nice to see this group we've known since the Fiddlehead days and before, and been through barenaked kids on the beach picnics, carpools, and school plays, and and don't often get altogether with anymore, but the folks it is just OK to be ourselves with without apology.

Christmas Day was a low key event, we invited some friends who often invite us to their home for holidays, their children also home for the break. John took over the kitchen again, preparing a beautiful prime rib roast (perfectly carved: one of these days he'll live down the odd carving project he turned a Christmas Roast into one year) cauliflower au gratin, tossed green salad, kasha, fruit, and for dessert a wonderful chocolate torte. Los Cardos Malbec. We talked into the evening about traveling in Ecuador, living abroad, life in the Coast Guard, books, and more.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Christmas in Portland with the kids.  We've not been away from Juneau for Christmas since the kids were little!  Both of them with jobs that required them to be there both the day before and the day after, it made much more sense for us to travel to them.

We'll be making Christmas dinner here in the condo, with a kitchen more sparsely equipped than mine, it might just be more of a challenge!  Last night for Christmas Eve, we went to Saltys on the Columbia.   It's such a pleasure to go to dinner with your kids as new adults!  We were seated in a quiet corner, which we promptly made not so quiet.   We had one of the best servers we have had in some time.  Selected Celeilia Beretta 2001 Amarone Della Valpolicella, a new favorite.  Ironically Amanda at 20, is probably the most knowlegeable about wine having just graduated from Western Culinary here in Portland and having served her externship at a winery.  A sly taste pronounced it "velvety" and "tasting of chocolate".  It was wonderful. 

Mac wanted mussel shooters to start, which luckily they didn't have, but they did have great oyster shooters instead.  We had to have the "Chilled Seafood Tower", king and dungies, more oysters, grilled prawns, and marinated mussels and clams as a starter.  Candy and Amanda had Spinach & Feta Ravioli, made with Crimini mushrooms, Kalamata olives, sweet onions, and tomato bisque.  Mac chose fresh Maine lobster, no wonder when Mom and Dad are paying!  I chose the Pan Seared Diver Scallops with creamy polenta, sauce puttanesca, served on the side as recommended by our server, and fried leeks.   Great conversation and time spent with the kids.  Miss the days of when they were little, but very happy the days of adulthood are here.

So now Christmas dinner is in the works and I (candy here) find that I wasn't too thorough in my examination of the contents of the kitchen!  I've got lots of limes, lemons, 3 apples, 2 cups of flour to figure out something to make for desert - we'll see!  In the mean time we bought a beautiful prime rib at a butcher shop down the road and some nice asparagus.  Interesting to cook in a kitchen not your own and a pantry/refrigerator stocked the same way...

We did buy a nice champagne and wine for dinner, so perhaps no one will notice the odd
desert I might come up with!

Merry Christmas everyone, Candy and Dick

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Roast Everything

Bottom Round, studded with garlic cloves and rubbed with black pepper, Worcestershire Sauce, and soy sauce, surrounded by red potatoes lightly brushed with olive oil, salt & pepper, and in another casserole: fresh baby carrots of the most delicious sort and sweet onions, also with a dollop of olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast it all at 375, and serve up with beet greens, a cucumber and tomato salad, and fresh deep red crispy apples. Dry Creek heritage zin.
I think the boy liked it. He wanted "something with meat in it." and "something for lunch, there's nothing to eat for lunch". Should make good RB sandwiches.

Best ever board meeting

We whizzed through the Arts Council board meeting agenda on Tuesday in record time, and then retired to the Gallery for a holiday celebration. Voted "Best Board Meeting" by several.

Baked Jerry's Meats ham glazed with brown sugar, mustard and dry sherry (we always soak our ham overnight in water to extract lots of the salt.), Winter Salad from the Silver Palate, a squash and leek dish, cheese grits, zucchini dish, tossed salad, bread, and a palette of wines. oddly, no dessert!

I'd like to make a motion that there always be something yummy baking in the oven during a board meeting!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pork and Pinecones

A long time ago, John went away to work for some very talented chefs (who now live in Talent OR in fact) in Boonville CA. He came home with a recipe for perfect pork chops and a perfect salad.
So you take soy sauce, minced fresh ginger, 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro ( you can use other fresh herbs, but this is one of the highest and best uses of cilantro), mix together and marinate the pork chops in that for 1-4 hours, in the frig. While you get the BBQ going. Another perfect BBQ night: Crystal clear, light seasonal dusting a sparkly snow. When the coals are ready and the folks have nearly gathered, you grill 'em.

While you do that, clean and cut up a big bowl of romaine. Sprinkle liberally with balsamic vinegar or lemon juice, salt and pepper, and toss all that together. sprinkle with some good chevre. We found cute little "pillow" of chevre at the good cheese shop.
Then in the excess in moderation vein, heat up a generous bit of olive oil in a pan, and sauté 4 slices of bacon which you have chopped into 1/2 inch pieces. oo la la. Wehn the bacon is crispy but not completely done, add chopped walnuts, and some minced fresh garlic. When all hot, alert the folks to get to the table, pour the hot oils all over the salad, hopefully hearing a cheerful sizzling as it hits the chevre, and carefully, using your clean hands, toss until the chevre is dispersed throughout the salad. Pull the pork off the grill, and serve it all up with fresh bread, some steamed green beans, and oven roasted potatoes.

Splendid news: One of the couples (the guests of honor, visitors from the East) announce they have become affianced! A toast! There's Ringbolt Cab, Vitiano Cab-Merlot-Sangiovese, Sokol Blosser Meditrina, and not one but TWO unoaked Chardonnays, one from Villa Maria, the other from Yalumba. (Following careful taste comparisons, think I like the Yalumba best, but who's going to get picky? We might have to try again to be sure.) So nice to have such happy tidings.

Dessert: Cuzzin Martha's Lemon Bars (thumbs up), some wonderful chocolate snowball cookies and peppermint bark sent by friends, and little mandarin oranges from Japan, and conversation that turned to Christmas trees, which revealed an unusual phobia: A dread of pinecones! The best the rest of us could come up with was a fear of heights. Like who doesn't have a fear of heights? But pinecones! How unique, how interesting! How worrisome at holiday time! Luckily, our tree has no pinecones, and now has a lovely origami crane carefully folded from the perfectly square papers that wrap the little oranges.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Clams, clams, clams, clams

The above is sung to the "Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam" Monty Python tune. I am so delighted that my kids like clams, although my husband doesn't, so it's a "when dad's out of town meal." I've had em fancied up at local restaurants, but like mine better. Saute a handful of chopped shallots and some garlic in olive oil and butter, add a splash of white wine and a squeeze of lemon, dump in the cleaned clams and steam until they're juicy and delicious. Serve with a side of pasta, tossed with more olive oil, parmesan, salt and pepper, with lots of clam juice poured over the top. Steamed broccoli with more fresh squeezed lemon on top, Sauv. blanc for me and lait blanc for the kids. I never seem to buy enough clams, Duncan could easily go through 2 pounds in one sitting. And he likes shrimp eggs, a real Alaska kid.

Cajun Boil

Nothing like fresh Alaska Prawns, in a Cajun boil , 4 dozen prawns,2 tsp (we feel 1/2 tsp-3/4) cayenne pepper, 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp crushed red pepper, 1 tsp thyme, 1 tsp rosemary, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/2 lb butter, 3 tsp minced garlic, 2 tsp worcestershire sauce, 1 cup fish or shrimp stock, 1/2 cup beer @ room temp.  Combine 1/2 butter, garlic, worcestershire sauce and seasonings in large skillet over high heat.  When butter is melted, add shrimp, cook 2 minutes, add remaining butter and stock, cook and shake 2 minutes, add beer, cook one minute more.  Serve with slices of fresh bread to dip in the juice, and ice cold Summer Ale, have lots of towels for wiping hands and your mouth.

Cajun Boil

Friday, December 14, 2007

Eggplant Parm

Received a beautiful eggplant in "the box", and John had a dreaded Rotary Board meeting, so I was on dinner: Thinly sliced the eggplant, salted and drained it for a bit, while making the sauce.
Sauce: Saute some onions and garlic, add crushed tomatoes, a sprinkle of red chili flakes, and the rest of last night's red wine.
Turn the oven on broil, rinse and dry the eggplant. Pour some oil in a baking sheet, dip the eggplant in the oil on both sides, lightly salt. Broil each side until lightly browned.
Grate up equal portions of mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Lightly oil a baking dish:
layer of eggplant, sauce, cheese.
Repeat three times.
bake until your husband comes home from Rotary.
Serve with a tossed green salad and fruit.
The conversation wandered from the traditional Rotary rants to decision to move to Italy, and if so where.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Fried Rice

Large vat of leftover rice pilaf
1 chicken breast
a couple of baby bok choy still to eat and the new box due tomorrow, slice it up thin
1/2 a large onion, thinly sliced
celery, see note above re bok choy
2 eggs.

The ingredients for simple, fast, tasty dinner, one of two that we used to have regularly when the kids were little and evenings were short: Fried Rice.

Slice up the chicken and marinate with a teaspoon of light soy, rice wine, sesame oil, cornstarch.

Whip up the eggs with a bit of sesame oil.

heat the wok up to really hot, add a bit of peanut oil until smoking and add the chicken, stirring until all opaque. Remove, add a bit more oil, and add the eggs, stirring. Remove them when set and add to the chicken. Put the veggies in the wok, and stir until beginning to wilt, the add the rice, well not the whole vat, but enough for two of you, and stir fry this with the veggies. If really dry add some rice wine. Add the chicken and juices in and stir fry another couple on minutes until the chicken is all cooked through.

Serve with a tossed salad, some fruit, and Yalumba unoaked Chardonnay.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sunday night dinner

Yesterday, Sunday, was a tidge cold and damp for "the OC, and we had been to parties on Friday and Saturday, so I decided it was time for some comfort food. Also, in my decision making/menu planning was the fact that Chanukah was coming to an end on Tuesday and we had "obligations" tonight and tomorrow ( obligation is defined as a business-associated party that starts at 6 pm in the Pacific Palisades....this is about 40 miles from us,but should roughly take us 3 hours in rush hour in the carpool lane!...but, I'm sure it will be fun!) So, back to dinner...
Chuck loves meat loaf. I make it with ground turkey, sauteed mushrooms,onions and celery,and garlic,pepper, ketchup and a variety of mustards mixed in...sometimes, I add some oatmeal which my Mom used to do and I'm not really sure why...keep it moist perhaps. I like theme food! So,I shaped the meatloaf into a menorah-shape and sauteed some red,yellow and orange pepper strips for candles. I made latkes for an unprecedented 2nd time during the same Holiday and "nuked" some sweet peas. We had Honey Moon Voigner, which is "dang" good, and played a Tom Lehrer CD which included "Chanukah in Santa Monica".
Stay tuned for my Valentine's Day dinner which has always been my personal "fav" in the food theme department, but I am loving this meat loaf menorah!


We had burgers last night for dinner. It'd been a really busy weekend and while we were desperate to eat dinner, neither of us had the energy to made anything too complex.

I had just been to Whole Foods with Natalie to pick up a few things. Namely, baby food for her! She'll soon get a mention on this blog as she starts eating. So far, it's only been rice cereal but we have exciting foods in store this week - sweet potatoes, carrots and peas!

I took a pound of ground beef and mixed in an egg, some powdered garlic, onion and salt and pepper. I know the Alaskan DeCherney's are vehemently opposed to powdered anything but I have to make a case for convenience. And at least we don't use it all the time - we typically chop up and add in the real thing - just not last night. I formed the meat into patties and cooked them in pan.

I also saw some really yummy looking brioche buns at the store. I warmed them up in the oven. Sliced some sort of goat cheese gouda. And took the spinach salad out of the to-go box and mixed it up with balsamic dressing.

Dinner turned out to be a bit of an upscale burger. I like to imagine that if it were on a restaurant menu, it would be described fancy pants as Cheeseburger on a Brioche bun. Anyways, the burger was tender but the buns were way too big for the patties.

We ate dinner on the couch while catching up on our Gilmore Girls reruns and watching the baby monitor.

Bubbling over

Sunday afternoon just lends itself well to Champagne somehow. Following the (delightful) Bach Society concert (the Mozart was especially lovely) we had our usual crowd of sparkling wine-drinkers and a few others over for a potluck. John made Greek Chicken with tons of garlic and oregano, and he made some apple sauce to go with the latkes which I made. Someone brought red beans and rice, there was a fabulous salad of spinach, feta, dried fruits, and balsamic vinegar, a wonderful holiday salad of carrots and peppers, a big bowl of bean dip and chips, some date bread, a quiche, oh and an inexplicably enormous pot of rice pilaf, in case an army came through I think, some chocolates and dried cranberries, and a completely decadent chocolate torte (see the cartoon in the headlines to the right). All washed down with Gruet (a delicious sparking wine from New Mexico), Scharffenberger, Gloria Ferrer, Nicolas Feuillatte, and I think I am missing one, but you get the idea.

We gave gifts to the Glacier Valley Arts program, which is raising funds to take their students back to perform at the Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian in honor of their receiving an award for their impressive integration of the arts into the whole school curriculum, also to Hospice, and to the Glory Hole. The holidays are a wonderful time.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Pizza out

Last night we went out for pizza, to the Island Pub, where the little 12 year old jazz singer was performing. Build your own pizza: marinara, spinach, roasted garlic, grilled onions, mushrooms, cheese. John had IPA, I had Pinot Grigio and J Lohr Cab. Good music. A little disconcerting that in the other half of the room folks were hooting and hollering over a boxing match and on the TV in the bar you could see a wrestling match. I'm sorry, but watching wrestling is not appetizing. But we had a nice evening out, and the mini handled well on its first adventure out in sloppy snow. Better than some big honking pickups we saw spinning out.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Angel Hair

Got home at 11:30 last night after a long day (Gallery Walk is a BIG DEAL in Juneau, and we followed it with a "Rent Party" to help us make the rent for the new Arts & Culture Center: We did make goal of $1000, which certainly helps). John was rhapsodizing with Hunter in Ketchikan about hot fudge sundaes over lovely bottles of wine as noted in the comments posted earlier, so I was on my own to forage for dinner. (No that was the other night. Last night he was in Sitka, doing a winetasting!)

Had to be simple, fast, and comforting. Luckily, we had cream. Angel Hair takes 2 minutes to cook. In the meantime, melt butter with garlic and green onion, microwave some of those swell little French green beans, microplane a big pile of Parmesan. Add cream to the garlic butter, hike up the heat to reduce it, drain the pasta but not completely, and stir it into the cream. Toss in the cheese. Pleasantly arrange the haricots verte sur the plate, and dish up the pasta. Top with a decoratively flavorful grinding of fresh pepper, and light the candle.

Dang. Not a drop of wine in the house! Not a single drop!

Oh well, counted the money from the evening, went to bed and slept well.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Most Perfect Single Dish in Food History According to JD

John was in Ketchikan on Wednesday and stopped at the house to help me out with a bottle of Montez Folly, '04. Verra nice and the artwork by Stedman on the label is okay, too.
Anyway, during the course of a wide-ranging conversation, he dropped the fact that his all time favorite single food dish is a hot fudge sundae with chopped nuts.
Por que? you may ask. Textures: crunchy to soft. Taste: Salty to sweet. Vision: Bright. Temperature: cold and hot.
Now I cannot get the thought of one out of my head, and there really is not a good ice cream parlor here. Oh, well, I guess that I'll just have to stock up on fixin's.

Popeye Burgers

John did up some very excellent burgers last night, in honor of all you folks in France not having burgers: Big juicy ground round perfectly medium rare patties, topped with spinach sautéed with lots of garlic and olive oil, and I think that was mozzarella cheese oozing over the top, with a side of sautéed mushrooms just for me. Dressed with Duke's Mayo and Plochman's ground mustard, some dill pickles, and red onions, tomatoes. Tossed salad with fresh herbs (John was unhappy about the dill) and superb apples and kiwi. Popeye Burgers were a big fave back in the day at the Fiddlehead, and they are still totally yummy. Went well with the Lindemans Shiraz.

No yams though.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Home alone with mushrooms

We have a wonderful cookbook called The Cuisine of the Sun by Mirielle Johnston, which has several really delicious French recipes from Nice and Provence in it (excellent marinated salad recipes, including a good non-mayo potato salad).

One of the recipes we've used over the years may fall in the 5 minutes in the kitchen category, sort of: Tian de Boeuf aux Légumes - Baked Beef with Onions, Mushrooms, and Garlic. A wonderful redux for leftover roast beef.

Yesterday, or the day before, make too much roast beef or rib eye steak.
Turn the oven on 375.
Then, slice up 1/2 pound of mushrooms - or maybe 2-3 ounces of mushrooms/person.
Mince 1 garlic clove/person.
The recipe calls for green onions, 1/person, but I didn't have that and substituted some leeks.
1 tablespoon of bread crumbs/person
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley - I didn't have fresh, so used a teaspoon of dried/person.
Salt & pepper.
Put all this together in a bowl.
Oil the bottom of a baking dish, and put 1/2 of the vegetable mix in.
Then sliced up the leftover meat, or cut into chunks, and arrange it over the veggies. Put the rest of the veggies on top.
Drizzle some wine (maybe 1/4 cup/person) over the top and a bit of olive oil. Maybe a teaspoon.
Bake for 30 minutes.

While that is cooking, clean some lettuce, make a salad. Slice up some kiwi fruit.
Clean the little radishes that came in "the box" reserving the tops that are in good shape. Wash them pretty well, they are kind of gritty.

Just before the Tian is ready, melt butter in a small sauté pan, add a little garlic, then the little radishes. Sauté just 30 seconds, then put in a little water, about 1/2 way up the little radish bodies. Add the radish greens. Cook about 2-3 minutes. Take them out, and then turn up the heat, add a little lump of butter and reduce the cooking liquid to a nice saucy texture and pour it over the radishes.

Serve the meal with Lindeman's Shiraz and life is good. Worth making extra potroast for for sure!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Chanukah in "Santa Monica" aka anywhere,USA

It's actually the second night of Chanukah but I was out all day yesterday and wasn't in the mood to cook, but tonight's fare is Potato Latkes(pancakes). I just taste tested 1 because Chuck isn't home yet... and they are GOOD. You really can't go too wrong with frying potatoes.
At some point, we will be visiting Ali,Shaz and Baby Natalie and when we do, I'll make them again and we'll invite Henry for perhaps his first contiguous Chanukah.
I like mine with applesauce and Chuck was brought up with eating them with sour cream. I anticipate this topic of accompaniment will comprise our conversation. A prayer over the menorah candle lighting and a tidge of Manischewitz with a prayer and we're good to go.
I just ordered one of my presents today so I will show Chuck a picture what he got me, and he will open his second gift, Hugh Johnson's 2008 Pocket Wine Book. His present last night was a new golf club.
Happy Chanukah to all, and a good evening!

trying to post a great holiday cookie site

Hi all,

I received a great e-mail with at least a hundred cookie recipes...all you had to do was click on the cookie name and up came the recipe...I thought it would be useful this time of year...
let's see if it works

All mistakes and or broken pieces or rejects for any reason can be sent to Newport Beach, or just consumed in my name!


Warmth for the cold

Another Robert Service sort of day ("There are strange things done under the Midnight Sun by the men who moil for gold....Talk of your cold! through the parka's fold it stabbed like a driven nail."), and John called to ask me to pick up "the box" because he was going home to put on a pot roast.

Now he and I have different approaches to pot roast, as the kids will tell you, but last night's filled the house with a warm aroma, was tender, juicy, delicious, with baby carrots, buttered noodles, a tossed salad, and a Biblical apple. This is the way God meant apples to be, and why Eve was tempted by an apple and not, say, raspberries. Some CMS red. The right meal for the day.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Not really rosti or raclette...

What to eat when spouse and kid #1 aren't home, and kid #2 is sick and only wants canned chicken noodle soup? I firmly believe this is fondue, as well as raclette weather, but since I didn't have all the necessary implements or ingredients, I tossed potato chunks with olive oil, salt and pepper, roasted them, then broiled with grated Gruyere, accompanied by salad with garlic vinaigrette, apple slices and Sauvignon Blanc. Long day at work, whew. Greg's in Cordova for the week, but is happy because the cabin he's renting has a barbecue, and he's marinating London Broil for tomorrow night, red wine, mustard, steak sauce and salt and pepper.

The Bill Bryson dinner

There is an essay by Bill Bryson where he has been enduring some kind of very awful and stressful travel and he is so looking forward to being home and really really wants steak and when his wife picks him up at the airport she's prepared tofu or something. He ends up banging his head on the dashboard moaning "I wanted steak, I wanted steak". I may have this all wrong, and John will correct me.
But last night I had endured some form of stressful daily travel and came home to find John frying up some rib eyes. Dang they were good. Big stack of mushrooms and onions on top, some rice, and a big bowl of garlicky spinach cooked in the very special Italian olive oil, with also a tossed salad.
I wanted steak! I wanted steak!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Stir fry Pork with Bok Choy and Green Onions

From the Ken Hom cookbook (Easy Family Recipes from a Chinese-American Childhood). John was at a fancy Rotary dinner, so it was just me and the dog, who is off his feed anyway. I took a little pork loin roast out of the freezer and shaved thin slices from it, and marinated them in 1 Tablespoon light soy sauce, rice wine, and sesame oil, with a bit of cornstarch. Sliced green onions (it calls for 8 but I only had 4) into 2 inch lengths, and also sliced up some bok choy. Steamed some white Basmati rice. (The bag was torn, unbeknownst to me, so when I took it out of the burlap bag it comes in to fill up the rice container, rice went everywhere all over the kitchen. !@#$% This does not help with the 5 minutes in the kitchen goal.) Heated the wok up to really really hot (putting out the tiny little rice fires from the little grains of rice left in the burner), added a tablespoon of peanut oil to just starting to smoke, put the pork in and stir fried it quickly. As soon as not pink, removed it from the pan and added the vegetables with a little (too much actually) salt, equal amount of suge (supposed to be 1 teaspoon each, I'd back that off next time) and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Stir fried about 30 seconds, added the pork and accumulated juices and good through for about a minute or so. Put the rice in a bowl, topped it with the pork, arranged a little plum (a slice in the CMS wine) on the plate, and had a lovely dinner, reading the Police Blotter from the Chilkat Valley News, always engrossing what goes on up there. A caller reported that a former tenant had left beer cans by a stream!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Pumpkin Soup

It was a Friday night after a long week. John made cream of pumpkin soup and a salad with fresh croutons, which went well on the soup and on the salad. Austrian wine, a bath and to bed.