Sunday, July 10, 2016

Ramblings of 40, so far...

I have been 40 for almost three months.  I will say, I have A LOT more plans that have popped up in the past few months.  I made a list of things I wanted to do a few months ago.  Several I have plans to or made a good attempt at--One,  go see Manatees.  We visited a highly likely to see manatees place (Sanibel Island)  for a second time, no luck on any sightings--but we gave it a good try.  Two, I wanted to visit Rick Bayless's restaurants.  I have plane tickets purchased for a Chicago trip with friends from college days.  Three, I made a dream mention of potatoes from a stand in Belgium.  I never in a million years would have dreamed that my Fall plans would include a trip to Belgium, France, and wherever else I may wander in those two weeks.

About a month into 40, I had to get glasses.  It's a long story and I started writing it and thought, why would anyone want to know this?  Long story short, eye strain was a contributor to terrible headaches.  The day my glasses came in, I was heading to the airport to visit Austin, TX for the first time.  I was able to catch up with old friends, Angela Sinclair and Mike, Janet, and Greg Pruett.  Oh--Josh and I managed to see Jerry Jeff Walker at Gruene Hall.

Great British Bake Off is on again!  I love it and have been craving some Black Forest Cake since I saw an episode that featured it.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Cookbook Eight--From Momma's Table to Mine Bobby Deen

This book was a bit of a disappointment.  I hate to say that because I marked a lot of pages that all sounded so good.  I think I will try a few more at a later time.  The Pimento Cheese, Pickled Shrimp, and a few others sound good.  I am ready to try something else for awhile though, so I may revisit this in the Fall or Winter.

The cornbread was barely edible. This may be the cornmeal's fault.  I was using a stone ground milled corn that was given to me as a gift.  It may have a different texture than traditional cornmeal, although the overall flavor was just short of gag worthy.

I love a spinach salad with hot bacon dressing.  It reminded me of wilted lettuce my mom used to make.  This one has spinach, mushrooms, and bacon.  One of my daughters loves both spinach and mushrooms, so I was excited to make this one.  Meh, it was ok.  I didn't finish my serving and I threw away the leftovers.  I think my family had a slightly better opinion, but not enough to save the leftovers from the garbage. 

Mashed potatoes without butter using a low fat cheese spread.  It was fine.  I ate the leftovers with some extra salt and thought it was pretty good.

Cucumber Salad with dill and greek yogurt dressing was delicious.  I really liked it and I was able to use some dill from my herb garden that Josh and the girls made me for Mother's Day (mostly Josh).

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Lu Lu's Cookbook--Full of Favorites

I have had the cookbook from Lu Lu's since it was first released at the restaurant.  I have found the recipes are no fail--and taste amazingly like the restaurant's versions.  They updated and released it through a larger publisher and Josh and the girls bought me the updated version for Mother's Day.

The original one has been on my cookbook stand in the kitchen almost every day since I got it--but my in laws visited and I think my mother in law must have taken it down to read it.  I have yet to locate it.  I guess it's good I have the updated one also.  :)

Over the years I have relied on the tatar sauce, cocktail sauce, and orange marmalade sauce as staples.  The crab melt, mahi tacos, shrimp and grits have been made regularly.  In the spirit of trying new things I made her Chicken Salad--oh my, best chicken salad I have ever made.

I love this cookbook.  I know it would make my top ten.  I wonder if I had to grab one book if that would be the one.  Of course, I need to find where it is hidden in the house or grow to love the updated one as much.  

Friday, May 6, 2016

Cookbook Seven--Everyday Pasta Giada De Laurentiis

So, here it is.  I haven't stopped cooking.  I have actually been cooking quite a bit, but I haven't been cooking through one at a time, I was a bit in a wandering mood this winter.  I have been traveling some, but also have been cooking one recipe from one book and another from other books.  I finally finished five from this one. 

Up first, was Greens with Gorgonzola Dressing.  I really like blue cheese, so this was a winner for me.  I am the only lover of Gorgonzola in my household, so I ate this for several work lunches.  It keep well for those few days.

While reading the recipe for Farfalle with Broccoli, I wasn't sure about the anchovies.  Giada specifically addresses this concern that it will melt away and leave nothing but flavor.  Josh came home and smelled the fishy smell, but I didn't mention them to the kids and they both ate seconds.  It was quite delicious.  

I made Little Stars with Butter and the Basic Marinara Sauce in February.  I made the sauce and froze most for later.  I used it on stuffed shells and it worked out great.

Gnocchi with Thyme Butter Sauce was my final recipe for this challenge.  I wasn't sure if it would be a hit, but everyone ate it.  Delaney especially liked it. 

 I have several other recipes I want to try.  I really thought I would try her Citrus Olive Oil and Chili Oil.  I am sure I will come back to this book.  I have been cooking out of one of our church's cookbooks and well as Lucy Buffett's Lu Lu's Cookbook.  One of those will be up next!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Found in Cookbooks

I have found some interesting things lately in books.  I discovered quite a few Luzianne Tea Certificates and a Donovan Coffee one.  I had not heard of Donovan, but I learned it was based in
Birmingham, Alabama.

Today I picked up a book titled For the Bride.  It is about basics of housekeeping and cooking. I found it interesting.  This afternoon, I was looking at it and found this insert:

Which seemed pretty interesting, then I noticed this recipes on the back cover:

I guess there was a group with this name:

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Things to do--someday

See Manatees

Eat at a Rick Bayless Restaurant

Visit Mexico City

Visit Hawaii and Alaska to complete my 50 States

Afternoon Tea

Bake Popovers

Master Rye Bread

Visit Vancouver

Eat Fries from a Stand in Belgium

Visit Hemingway's Home in Cuba

Hear John Hiatt and Lyle Lovett Together

What I want to continue doing:

Jazz Fest
Any reason to be in New Orleans
Key West--anything in the Keys
Lots of Live Music
Drink lots of tea
Disney World and Disneyland

Crazy March--April is Coming

March was a whirlwind.  I had two trips and Josh had a two and half week work trip. So, it was busy and it was a bit crazy.  I did some cooking in the cookbook challenge.  Almost ready for Cookbook 7's review.  I had a trip to Missouri to attend True/False Film Fest--which is always full of interesting films.  The following week I went to a Natural Foods Expo in California for work.

April--yes, April is coming. April will mark 11 years since my mom died.  Sometimes, I think that date gets harder as the years go by.  What would she say or do?  It gets fuzzier as the years past.  It's hard that my girls really don't remember her. They were only four and two, so I knew they wouldn't remember much. Delaney has a memory of my mom and play doh.  I think that may be influenced by a photograph, but it's something.  This April I turn 40.  Typing that I nearly teared up.  I am not looking forward to it.