Tuesday, June 1, 2010

An Anniversary Memory

For our 29th Anniversary, Scott planned a wonderful mid-week celebration. He rented a town car, got a suite at the best motel in Salem, and took me out to a wonderful dinner at Morton’s. I had just gotten the cast off my right leg (On my birthday, he took me to the dump. Not once, but twice that day. Ever so the romantic. Anyway, I was collecting junk from around the yard and tripped. I re-injured my right Achilles tendon and had to wear a plastic cast for almost three months.)

I was so pampered those few days. The town car was as big as a Rose Festival float! The food at Morton’s was superb! There was a bouquet of candy and a chilled bottle of champagne waiting for us in our room. Some flowers too. Later, we sat in the spa tub in the room and watched ‘Mars Attacks!’ All in all, a great couple of days.

The dinner at Morton’s was memorable. We don’t drink much. So the wine list was lost on us. We did enjoy the couple at another table that made a fuss over the wine to have with appetizers, the right wine with dinner, and then wanted the perfect desert wine. We chuckled. The next day, at check-out, there was the same couple trying to navigate the lobby on their way out. We chuckled.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas

I used to fix Chicken Enchiladas like I do Ground Beef Enchiladas. Then, I had some really great ones at a couple of potlucks. I really enjoyed the ones served by my friend, Patty, and another friend, Dave. Theirs were served in a white sauce (thick with cream cheese) and were very, very creamy. I took down their recipes and Debbie’s delicious recipe to come up with my own Chicken Enchiladas. Which are a little more to the light side.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Barbeque (Pulled) Pork Sandwiches with Coleslaw

I’m fixing BBQ Pork Sandwiches with Coleslaw tonight. I originally got the idea from Alton Brown of GOOD EATS . It has turned out to be one of our favorite leftover Pork Roast recipes. Quick and easy, it meets our requirements of grain, vegetable, and protein. It’s a little high in sodium and sugar; but we overcome that with lots of water to drink and a slice of Angel Food cake for dessert.

Besides all the family cooks, I have learned a lot from TV cooks and chefs. I really know few people who have not tuned into TV cooking shows.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Scalloped Potatoes

What to do with leftover ham? I have written several recipes for leftover ham, but our all-time favorite is Scalloped Potatoes.

We come from differing views on Scalloped Potatoes. Scott prefers them with Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup and huge chunks of cheese. My mom made them with Condensed Cream of Celery Soup. My friend Kathi made them with white sauce. I think we all agree that the packaged versions are good only in a pinch! Everyone agrees that bits of ham make them a good deal better!

In our quest to make Scalloped Potatoes a healthier dish: less sodium, less fat; we have tried the healthier choice of condensed soups. Not too bad, just use evaporated 2% or skim milk and the flavor improves.

My current choice is to make a white sauce and add celery, onion, and mushroom to improve the overall flavor.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Just How Sloppy is Joe?

There was a restaurant, on the corner of Center and 12th in Salem that served the best Sloppy Joes ever! And no, I never got to try them. Mom and her friends would go shopping and that is where they loved to have lunch. The check was served with chlorophyll pills to help disguise the garlic and spices on the ladies breath. She finally got Dad to try them on an evening out, once. Dad had eaten the original Sloppy Joes back during the war and did not like these posers.

Once Scott and & were married, as we tried to find common ground on our meals, we agreed we had both like the sloppy joes served at school. So I tried the spice packet and we were in love with the dish. I really don’t know why I didn’t just call Aunt Vi, she who had the school’s recipes. Seems, all you needed to do was ask a school cook and they would give out a sheaf of papers with all their recipes!

 I found a recipe in a magazine about 25 years ago and tried it. It was as close to what we had eaten at school as possible. I was telling Aunt Vi about it and she gave a disgusted laugh, she of the Extension Ladies Cooking, Needlework, Arts & Crafts Club. Then we both had a good laugh over how we never seem to remember to ask our family if they can help out with a problem!

Here is the way I now make Sloppy Joes:

Friday, April 30, 2010

Reminder, Mother's Day is Coming!

I have been reminding everyone that Mother’s Day is May 9th! Of course, it goes without saying that Moms who cook would enjoy a great Mother’s Day gift related to her kitchen. It could be a lovely breakfast in bed, brunch with the family, a picnic in the woods, or dinner at home around a family movie!

I always have loved a new cookbook or an old one at that! A new set of recipe cards or a few new wooden spoons have always been appreciated.

Whatever it is, check out some of my advertisers for their Mother’s Day Specials! I love to get magazines as a gift. Every month brings something new! I can share them with friends, donate to the library, or just toss them in the recycle bin when I have eked out every new bit of information.

A gift card to a kitchen store is a great gift. That way, Mom can pick out the specific pans and pots, plates and bowls, shiny new utensils, small appliances, towels and pot holders, her heart desires.

Today, I have been posting about my advertisers and how by entering their sites from my blogs, to make your purchases, you can help to support me and my blogging. Truthfully, I make a very small commission on every purchase you make by entering the shopping site from my blog. I thank you for your support.

Whatever you get for the mom in your life – just make sure to give it with all your love.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

All-American Stew

When I was cleaning out the fridge, I found a nice chunk of London Broil. I got this fabulous buy on London Broil a while back. So, I cut it into smaller pieces of about one pound each and froze them. This one was destined for a great cool spring stew. (This time of year reminds me of lamb stew; but Scott will not eat lamb or mutton. Not that I blame him. But sometimes I like lamb stew.)

I thought I would use the slow cooker for this. Scott loves foods cooked in a slow cooker. I prefer either stovetop or even oven cooked. Guess I was in a good mood because I was making food the way he likes.

Okay, about an hour before dinner, I checked on the stew. It was watery, the veggies weren’t cooking, and I was getting frustrated over the pets being little devils all day. So I just dumped it all into a Dutch oven and brought it to a boil and voila, stew!