Pork Ragù and Pappardelle

When home cooking becomes a necessity.

Tuesday, I made a pot of pork ragù, Italian bread and pasta dough for pappardelle (wide pasta).

ragu and pappardelle

Tom (hubby) rolled and cut the pasta dough which gave me some time to step away from the kitchen for a little while.

Yay, Tom!

Tom the pasta maker

We made a pound of pappardelle. This is just one of two sheets.

pappardelle

For me, home cooking is cheaper, taste far better and healthier than processed, prepackaged or restaurant foods.

The downfall to home cooking is that it can be time-consuming. However, for some of us retired baby boomers, it is a necessity.

Sad as it is, it is just the two of us now.  Family is grown, far, far away and have lives of their own.  All we can hope for is that they all stay safe, healthy and happy.

Tom and I cook all of our meals, here, at home. The only days we don’t cook, are the days we eat left-overs from the day before.

Just last spring Bloomberg reported that Americans now spend more on dining out than they do on groceries. 

Luckily, most of us were taught, by our parents and grandparents, how to cook and prepare a home cooked meal.

It wasn’t until I was twelve years old that my parents finally took us to eat at a restaurant.  Up until then, all our meal were eaten at home.

I might add, it was the first time and the last time my parents indulged us with dining out.

Although I do understand why so many eat out; I find it sad that most don’t have the time or basic kitchen skills to cook at home.

There may come a time when it is a becomes a necessity.  If not a necessity, ` than a tradition to pass down to each generation.

Being A Lover Of Ginger

I happened upon a ginger syrup recipe that suggested it could be used to make ginger sodas.  I figured that it would be something different to drink during the hot, summer months.

Being a lover of ginger, I made a batch.

Ginger Syrup

Today, I fixed myself a glass of ginger soda using tonic water (per one of the suggestions from the recipe).

Ginger Soda

Oh, boy!  It was so sweet…too sweet for me!

If I make this again, I will use much less sugar and more ginger. Also, rather than tonic water, I will use seltzer water. I am also thinking it would be good added to unsweetened iced tea for those of us who like sweet tea, but not too sweet.

There was one good thing about making this syrup.

I saved the ginger and made candied ginger.

Candied Ginger

The left-over ginger yielded two jars of candied ginger.

Candied Ginger

I really wanted to make this syrup work. I just can’t think of any other uses for this batch.  However, the candied ginger is good!

A Saturday Supper

Saturday supper-

Homemade Spanish rice and taco salad bowls.

My version of homemade Spanish Rice. Rice-a-roni-like, but BETTAH!

homemade spanish rice

Couldn’t find taco bowls in any store here. So, we took corn tortillas and baked them in a muffin tin, upside down. I wasn’t too impressed with them as they were too small and, for me, the flavor just wasn’t there..  However, they were ok-in a pinch.

I am thinking that the flour tortillas would have been better than the corn.

taco salad and spanish rice

I forgot to add the shredded cheese before I took the picture. The dish needed that yellow color for photos.

Darn!

Simply Delicious

Dalla cucina povera.

Today, I made 68-1 inch Italian meatballs.  I froze more than half.  With the rest,  I added them to my version of Italian wedding soup.

Italian wedding soup

Along with the soup, I made another boule from the 5-Minute Artisan Bread recipe.

french boule

Both were delicious and comforting.

Well, that was short and sweet.

See ya later!

Thank you for visiting!

All Warm and Cozy

I had worked on a teapot cozy and wasn’t happy with the outcome.  Last week, I picked it back up and finished it.

Tea Cozy

For something that I made up in my head, I guess it didn’t turn out too badly.  It fits my one-cup teapot and does keep the tea hot while it steeps.  I used Peaches & Cream cotton yarn.

Tea Cozy

I do have another idea for a cozy.  If it turns out ok, I will (hopefully) write the pattern down on paper.  I hesitate to write down a pattern.  If I am on a roll, I don’t want to stop to jot down notes.

What usually happens is, “What I see in my head isn’t the same as the outcome”.  Argh!

I had purchased some new blended, signature, teas, Wizard’s Grey and The Evening Star, from Adagio online (sample tins are no longer available).  Both blends were very good, but as for my go-to-tea, I will probably just stick to Earl Grey.

These signature blends are perfect if you wish a treat now and then.  I just don’t want to depend on an online store to keep me stocked in tea.  It’s more convenient to go to the local store if I run out of tea.

Tea Grey Wizard

A cup of Wizard’s Grey, from Adagio, in my pretty little tea-cup.

I also wanted to share the flatbread that I baked.  I love how it folds without cracking.  I found the recipe for this flatbread at Mel’s Cafe Kitchen.

flatbread

To go along with the flatbread, I also made mulligatawny soup.

mulligatawny soup-flatbread

Years ago, after watching “Seinfeld’s” The Soup Nazi episode, I was curious about the recipe and found it online.  It is delicious!  I omit the eggplant and add more of the potato, pistachios and cashews to the pot.

Of course, everything that should be eaten in moderation is what I add more of…of course!

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By Hook Or Cook

I promised myself that before days turn into months, I would make an effort to post now and again.

Therefore, here is an account of the past few day.

The doily (unblocked) is finished.

I was so glad to see an end to this doily.  More than a few times, I wanted to put it aside and forget about it.  I was getting bored and couldn’t find a purpose as to why I was crocheting another one of these.  The pattern is called ‘Swirl’ from the  Leisure Arts Round Doilies leaflet.

red doily

On Saturday, I made french bread,

french bread

cooked my chili con carne,

chili and french bread

and with the leftover almond paste (from the bear claws I made last week), I baked almond biscotti.

biscotti

Moving on…

We haven’t seen the sun in a few of days.  It is so dreary outside.  Which in turn, makes me feel dreary. There are a few things I want to do around the house, but I fear that I will create the ‘snowball effect’.  So, in turn, I do nothing.

What is it that I want to do?

One has to have something to look forward to.

What is that something?  

If everyday is just another day waiting, then one has wasted life.

Waiting for a life is not living life, but merely existing.

Do you merely exist?

It Just Makes Me Happy

Using Puff Pastry

I guess one could say that I have been in a bake mode lately. Today, I baked ‘easy’ Almond Bear Claws.

Bear Claws Almond

I used Pepperidge Farm Puffed Pastry (I already had on hand), and almond paste mixed with confectioner’s sugar and an egg white.

almond bear claws

I still have some almond paste leftover.

Hmm!  I am thinking Almond Biscotti with the remaining paste. 

Last week, I had 2 large granny smith apples, a pear, and a sheet of puff pastry (again, I had on hand). No one was eating the fruit.  So, I put together an apple filling for turnovers.

pie filling1a

You couldn’t taste the pear, but it added a little sweetness and it provided a little more filling.

apple turnovers

A sprinkling with some sanding sugar before baking and…

apple turnovers

…Tada!

Delicious turnovers.

And, to give credit where credit is due (thank you, Tom).

For supper this evening, Tom (hubby) fried potatoes & kielbasa with green peppers and onions; all sprinkled with crumbled bacon.

keilbas & potatoes

It was delicious!

Not much crocheting going on. I only did 3 more rounds on that doily I have been working on. It should have been done by now.  Maybe tomorrow I will finally finish it once and for all.

Maybe!

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Colorful Quinoa Tabbouleh

With some quinoa and veggies that I had on hand, I found a recipe for Quinoa Tabbouleh from CookingLight

I modified their recipe slightly by using chicken broth instead of water, added toasted almond slices, adding the raisins to the quinoa half-way through cooking, and used apple cider vinegar instead of lemon juice. Because I didn’t have green onion, I eliminated them. I also halved the recipe, but kept the extra virgin olive oil the same as the full recipe.

Look how pretty and colorful-

quinoa tabbouleh

I only took a half a cup for supper last night.  Although grains are good for me,  I am trying to keep my carbs low.

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Yield: Approximately 2 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

½ cup + 6 Tablespoons chicken broth
½ cup uncooked quinoa
2 Tablespoons raisins
2 teaspoons dried mint (add more to your liking)
2 Tablespoons toasted almond slices
¼ cup coarsely chopped seeded tomato
2-3 Tablespoons chopped cucumber
3 Tablespoon chopped green pepper
2 teaspoon minced fresh onions
3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

  • In a fine mesh seive; rinse quinoa under cold running water.
  • Combine chicken broth and quinoa in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Half-way through cooking the quinoa; add raisin, cover and continue to cook.
  • In the meantime, in a small fry pan, toast (to a golden brown) almond slices over med-high heat stirring constantly so as not to burn them. Set almonds aside.
  • Remove quinoa from heat; fluff with a fork. Let quinoa cool down a bit then stir in remaining ingredients along with the toasted almonds.
  • Cover; let stand 1 hour. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

It was light, refreshing and delicious!

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