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Archive for April, 2009

breakfastcass_final

It’s interesting that since I’ve writing this blog the past few months, I find that I post quite a few breakfast recipes. I really never realized that I enjoyed cooking so much in the early morning, but apparently I do! It’s funny, too, because I’m definitely not a morning person. Don’t know what, if anything, this means in the overall plan of the universe, but just thought it was an interesting observation.

Well, anyway.  We had house guests last weekend, BeeBop’s mom and sister, and I wanted to have a nice breakfast for them on Sunday morning before they headed back home, so I mixed up this casserole the night before. Sunday morning, all I had to do was pop it in the oven and it baked while I got the fresh fruit and sweet rolls ready to go. We all enjoyed it. BeeBop and I had leftovers for Monday morning’s breakfast, too.

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Salmon Croquettes

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Salmon Croquettes – a staple of my childhood dinner table. I remember Mama’s being moist and flaky on the inside and wonderfully crunchy on the outside. Mine don’t quite live up to the memory of hers, but they’re a close second. Plus salmon is one of the good-for-you foods so it cancels out the frying. Right?

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croque_final

It’s Barefoot Blogger time again! Our second challenge for April was selected by Kathy of All Food Considered, and what a great choice it was! Beebop and I had this for dinner last night with the Salad and Classic Vinaigrette I posted yesterday. A glass of white wine alongside made this a wonderful spring dinner.

I would caution anyone, though, that as is typical of Ina’s dishes, this one is quite rich. One per person is a gracious plenty and the recipe makes eight. Yikes! I made a half recipe and it was far more than we needed for dinner. I’d suggest serving something very light along with this recipe.

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salad_basketToday was an absolutely beautiful spring day here in north Georgia. So beautiful, in fact, that I could not resist spending part of my lunch hour outside on the deck…a wonderful benefit of working from home.

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On my way out the door I picked up my kitchen shears and a basket and filled it with the most gorgeous baby salad greens from a large, long planter that BeeBop put out on the deck for me. I’ve never grown salad greens or radishes before. This is my first attempt. I have to tell you it’s so easy. They practically take care of themselves.

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salsachicken_finalThis recipe is a good choice for a week night when you’re pressed for time but still want to put something homemade on the table.  I chose to use thighs because they tend to stay moist through the longer cooking time needed in the oven. However, you could surely use whatever pieces you and your family like, or a whole cut-up chicken instead.

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Steak and Eggs

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Well, A and Mag are back home now. Our week of fun is over. We had such a good time with them even though we each had to work for part of the week. It was great just to have them here. We didn’t do anything super special. I believe we watched every episode ever made of SpongeBob SquarePants. But mostly we just enjoyed being together.  BeeBop and I can’t wait for the next visit!!

So, now that the Cocoa Puffs and Trix have been put away, we thought we’d have a hearty, definitely grown-up breakfast this morning.  It’s been years since I made steak and eggs and I don’t know why I thought of it now, but I’m glad I did.  This was just the right thing to get us going on a day of house cleaning and yard work.

If you want to make steak and eggs for your next hearty weekend breakfast, then

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p4110081I know. I’ve been remiss in posting anything from the kitchen for a few days.

p4130173I can’t help it. The grandkids are here!!

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chinesechickensalad

Our first Barefoot Bloggers challenge for April is Ina Garten’s Chinese Chicken Salad and it was selected by McKenzie of Kenzie’s Kitchen. I have seen the episode a couple of times in which Ina makes this salad and I so wanted to like it. I knew it had some components that were not going to be high on BeeBop’s “love-it” list, but he’s a real trooper and will try anything once. So, with high hopes I followed the recipe to the letter and we dug in. Then we looked at each other what that “I’m not so sure about this” kind of look and tried another bite.

I am sorry to report, though, that neither of us cared for this particular Barefoot Contessa recipe. The first thing that hit me was how overly salted it was. Right after that was the fact that all you can taste, other than the salt, is peanut butter.  The heavy, robust flavors of the peanut butter and sesame oil completely overwhelmed the delicate asparagus and red bell pepper. I could not taste the garlic or ginger at all. To me it was like eating a roasted chicken breast with peanut butter smeared all over it.

If I should ever make this recipe again, I would probably completely eliminate the salt, decrease the peanut butter to 2 tblsp or less, decrease the sesame oil substantially, and increase the honey, ginger and garlic.  Also, I’d add something sweet (like mandarin oranges, possibly) and something crunchier (like sliced almonds, perhaps) to the salad.

Just in case you want to try this one for yourself, I’ve included a link above to the recipe on Food Network’s web site.

Sorry, Ina.  Sorry, Barefoot Bloggers. But this one just wasn’t for us.  I know the next one will be wonderful!!

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pastasausage_finalWe’ve been on a bit of an Italian kick around here lately. Although most Italian recipes I cook use tomato-based sauces, this one is a little different. The combination of leeks, sausage and Parmesan made a fantastic dish! BeeBop had seconds. In the interest of fairness and full disclosure, I didn’t make this up. It appeared in a recent issue of Fine Cooking magazine. I did, however, tweak it slightly. I think you could also sneak some tomatoes in there and it wouldn’t suffer any, either 🙂

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bakedcheese_final

This is something I just made up because I was craving Italian flavors and didn’t want pizza or pasta. I served it “communal style” with crusty garlic bread for dipping in and scooping up the melted chese. I think this could also work as a dip with large croutons made from a good baguette. Also, some parmesan on top during the last few minutes of baking could be good as well. I’m going to keep tweaking this one, but it’s good just like it is.

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