Thursday, November 29, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Posted by Sheri at 2:42 PM
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Happy Thanksgiving! May you enjoy good food, good friends, and wonderful family.
Some of you may remember last year's turkey debacle. If not, here's the link to that particular post.
This year....THIS YEAR....I am thankful that we again were just the three of us and not a houseful of family. Because we had another turkey issue - the opposite end of the spectrum. I bought our 10-pound turkey this past Friday and put it into the freezer.
At 5 AM on Monday, I removed it from the freezer and gently placed it in the refrigerator.
At 5 PM on Wednesday, I poked a finger into its side and it "mooshed," which told me it was defrosting nicely.
At 11 AM today, I went downstairs and got the turkey from the fridge. I carried it reverently up the stairs. I patted it as I prepared to remove the packaging.
The )(*@&#& was frozen solid. See if I am nice and gentle next year. Next year, I am giving that bastard a solid kick with a steel-toed boot before cooking it.
So, that's how the turkey saga started. There's more.
The Man and The Stepson went for a free breakfast and planned to be home by noon. The Man had a grill to fire up.
At 10:30, when I began to prepare the dressing, I pulled the celery out of the fridge. It drooped like a bassett hound's jowls. What the hell. So I called The Man, who had to stop and get libations anyway, to pick up some more celery. I called every 10 minutes for the next hour and a half.
At noon, he called and said they were on their way home (the place that they were at is a half hour away) and that he would get the damn celery, damn it.
At 12:45, the two walked in the door. I immediately went to work chopping and slicing onion and the damn celery. I put together the dressing and scalloped corn and finished prepping the %*#@&^ turkey (which I defrosed in the microwave, by the way) with butter under the skin, oranges, garlic, and onion in its butt (it deserved it, don't you think?), and olive oil, salt and pepper on the outside of the skin. I handed it off to The Man to place on the grill.
An hour later, The Man came in the house and said, "honey." Oh, hell, now what?
The grill had dropped down to 175 degrees. Yes, people - instead of baking in an hour, I had an essentially raw turkey after an hour over the coals. I had already preheated the oven in anticipation of baking the side dishes, so I hauled out the roasting pan, trudged outside, and grabbed the $%&#@ bird. And put it into the oven. At which time I noticed that nothing else was going to fit with the huge roasting pan I just bought (premonition, perhaps?).
Good God. Is this day over yet?
Thank goodness I sprung for the convection oven/microwave two years ago. I heated that gift from heaven up to 425 and put the dressing in it. Then I fired up the toaster oven to 425 and popped in the scalloped corn.
It all worked out in the end. The Man, The Stepson and I are all rotting on the couches, watching "Christmas with the Kranks." We are recovering from pigging out and I am already contemplating the pie to come.
Sure as heck hope that your Thanksgiving dinner went a little better than mine.
Posted by Sheri at 5:36 PM
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Posted by Sheri at 6:16 PM
Monday, November 12, 2007
As you may have noticed, I have been eating a lot of them lately. With the holidays just around the corner, I better cut way back - now. Because I weighed myself today and I have gained five pounds.
Oh, the horror.
And I have such wonderful goodies planned, too. So if I manage to control myself, I will ease back on the sweet stuff for a few weeks and see if that's going to fix the weight issue.
We worked on barn teardown yesterday morning. I had to leave at 10:30 because of the whole cooking-for-the-boss thing, but I got in a solid two and a half hours. The guys got the rest of the walls torn down and all we have left now is to pick up garbage.
Thank heaven. I am ready for it to be over.
While doing prepwork for the boss' menu yesterday, I prepped this for myself. I had seen something similar somewhere on the web and thought it sounded good, but naturally I had to do my own thing.
I have to admit to a deep sigh when I looked at the potato-less plate. But there are other wonderful nummies out there for me to eat, too.
Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Chicken for One
adapted from the web - somewhere
1 good-sized boneless, skinless chicken breast
5 large spinach leaves, rinsed and dried well
1 ounce Fontina cheese, thinly sliced
1 roasted garlic clove
Fresh ground black pepper
Place the chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap and take out your aggressions on that bad boy - pound it flat, to about 1/2" thick. Remove the top piece of wrap and lightly sprinkle the exposed side of the chicken with salt.
Squeeze the roasted garlic on top of the salt and spread across the chicken. Then layer the spinach leaves and Fontina on top of that. Using the piece of wrap that's under the chicken, tightly roll the chicken, twist the open ends of the wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
When ready to eat, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil in the bottom of a small baking dish. Remove the chicken from the fridge, take off the plastic wrap, and place in the baking dish, rolling all sides of the chicken in the oil. Bake for 15 minutes.
Serve with wilted napa cabbage...or a baked potato...or a rice dish like risotto...or another tasty carb...
Posted by Sheri at 6:24 AM
Saturday, November 10, 2007
The Gidge had to go. At 4:30 this morning. I took her out and because we don't allow her outside alone when it's dark, I stood outside and froze while she debated if she was going to step paws on the frosted grass to actually GO. The answer on the first round was "hell no." So we came inside, put on a little pink and brown coat and her pink booties and tried again. And again, "hell no."
So we came in to take off the booties, hooked up the retractable leash, and went for a walk. Still nothing.
It had been 45 minutes of mostly being outside by this point. I was starting to get seriously ticked with The Gidge. My ears were frozen, my nose was running, and my toes were cold. When we got back from the walk, I hooked her back up to the lead and prayed.
Still nothing. Good God.
Out of desperation, I fed her an hour early, which I am probably going to regret later. But by golly, SHE POOPED.
While all of this was going on, I came up with an adaptation of a Vault recipe and once I had feeling back in my fingers, started making a delicious breakfast.
Baked Banana Doughnuts with Chocolate Glaze
from The Vault
2 1/2 tsp yeast
1/8 cup lukewarm water
3/4 cup slightly warm milk
1/6 cup shortening
1 cup mashed banana (about 2 large)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 tapioca starch
1/2 cup teff flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
2 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
Pour the water into a mixer bowl and add the yeast. Allow to bloom for 2 minutes. Add the milk and shortening; mix for 2 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, teff flour, sweet rice flour, and xanthan gum. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the mashed banana and egg. Pour into the yeast mixture and mix for 2 minutes. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until all of the flour is incorporated. The dough will be somewhat loose and sticky.
Line your working area with plastic wrap; spray it with cooking spray. Place the dough on the prepared plastic wrap and then cover with another large piece of plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray (spray side down). Use your hands to pat the dough down to 1/2" thick.
Spray your doughnut cutter/2 different size biscuit cutters/drinking glass and shot glass with cooking spray. Cut the doughnuts, removing the centers. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the doughnuts for 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Glaze with chocolate glaze.
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla
Put the chocolate chips, butter and corn syrup in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each 30 seconds, until all is melted together. Add the vanilla and stir. Dip the doughnut tops into the glaze while it (and they) are still warm.
I got 16 doughnuts out of this batch. You may get more or less depending on how large you make them.
Posted by Sheri at 9:03 AM
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I am a bad, bad daughter. Not only did I forget (without forgetting - does that make sense? Got busy and forgot to call, but I didn't FORGET) my mother's birthday just over a week ago, but I forgot to mention this:
Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad!
Yes, I was born on my my parent's first wedding anniversary.
Posted by Sheri at 7:46 PM
Posted by Sheri at 7:44 PM
From one minute to the next, I do not know what is going to come out of The Man's mouth. This morning, I was standing at the stove preparing my breakfast when he came up and said, "What are you doing?" Because I just love stating the obvious, I replied, "Cooking." His next question? I sit here shaking my head while remembering this one - "Cream of Wheat?"
Cream of Wheat.
CREAM OF WHEAT?
I swear - he really does know about the gluten thing. He brushes his teeth and rinses before he kisses me. But oh my God, sometimes the brain and the mouth just DON'T connect.
It was Cream of Rice with turbinado sugar and currants, by the way.
Posted by Sheri at 6:58 PM
Sunday, November 04, 2007
The second post title could be "Overdosing on damn good chocolate-banana bread causes coma."
The third post title could be "Successful first gluten-free dining experience in a restaurant."
The fourth post title could be "I laid around and did mostly nothing on this vacation but I did think about this."
Now, the explanations for all of these.
The first actually kind of goes with the second and third. I was on my way to Chicago to meet up for dinner at Vinci with Shauna James Ahern and two other wonderful women, Cari and Tina. What should have taken just under an hour to drive took over two hours because of a nasty accident 17 miles from my home. Yes, it took me an hour and a half to go 17 miles. Thank goodness that Shauna, Cari and Tina were willing to wait to have dinner until I finally got there. I always feel horrible when I see an accident like that but more than likely, the people involved in the accident were driving well above the speed limit and weaving in and out of traffic. There's a reason for the reduced speeds in construction zones - the lanes are usually narrower and rough, people. End of rant.
Posted by Sheri at 8:52 PM
Friday, November 02, 2007
October 31st is a very fun day around here. We get to scare kids for one more day.
I put The Gidge in her witch's costume, but 30 seconds after my hands left her body, she tore it. Go figure.
The Man and I dressed up as well. Instead of a mask, he chose to have me paint his face, which turned out very ghoulish. I did my standard witchy thing and since I have worn this twice now, I really need to get a new costume.
Food and recipes in the works, people. I have been laying low, cleaning house, and trying to get over this nasty chest cold.
Posted by Sheri at 5:46 PM