A week at home

My first week off the road in a while, and I felt the need to compensate.

My ugly chicken pot pie. You saw this one. It was ugly, but really tasty.

Night 2 was quick chicken and veggies, not picture worthy.

Night 3.

My sweet Italian Sausage sauce. Fresh herbs from the garden, parsley, oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves made it so amazing.

I served it with Cavatapi Pasta, and plenty of good Parmesan cheese and a lovely salad.

Night 4. Posole.

Posole, is a pork, green chili, hominy stew. Hatch Green Chili’s are the star in this one. It’s a mild but flavorful heat. Especially good on a blustery cold day

I’m so happy that meals have worked out.

I never know when my inspired ideas will make good. This has been a good week. I picked up some fresh made tortillas this morning. There will be sour cream, Monterrey jack cheese, and avocado. Maybe a little fresh jalape√Īo and Pico De Gallo too to accessorize our Posole, con maize y cilantro.

4 homemade meals this week.

1. Down home comfort food. Food coma, and a great night sleep.

2. Clean Eating, plain goodness, low carb, no fuss. No sleep, go figure? No Picture.

3. Give-me-the-carbs pasta meal with a beautiful sausage Sugo and Cavatapi Pasta. Still no sleep…..carbs are not the answer.

4. Spicing things up with a Green Chili Posole, a spicy pork stew with Hatch green chili’s, hominy, onions, and lots of cilantro. I serve this with sour cream, fresh made tortillas, Monterrey jack cheese, and avocado. Will I have to get the Advil PM?

Tomorrow……someone needs to take me for dinner I’ve had enough. ūüėĀ

I love to cook! But this is real work, and I have a real job. Just saying….

Ordering! Where’s my waiter?

I really am a happy girl. Happy, Happy, Happy. I really do like cooking for my family.

A Monday night dinner..ugly but yummy

I’m home for the week. It’s been a month of travel, severe weather, entertaining clients, being up and moving forward,

In celebration of being home, the weather being chilly, I had chicken, veggies, some frozen puff pastry……and a big cast iron skillet. So naturally I had to make something comforting, and homey. A really Big Chicken Pot Pie!

So I cooked the chicken in olive oil and butter, with lots of good garlic, Rosemary, thyme and parsley.

I set the chicken aside, and started the veggies. Onion, carrots, celery, mushrooms, were sautéed in more olive oil and butter.

Flour, more butter, a head of roasted garlic, chicken stock, half and half, and a bubbly goodness emerged.

More fresh parsley, and thyme from my garden to make things fresh. And I let the goodness settle in and become better.

I rolled the thawed puff pastry out to cover my really big skillet. It took 1 and 1/2 sheets to cover it up. I set it in the oven at 400 degrees to bake for 30 minutes.

30 minutes later, I had an ugly but delicious skillet pie to serve to my boys.

I can hear some asking…”Wendy, why don’t you put peas in your Pot Pie?” “You know your crust sunk a bit?”

Oh the answer is simple, and direct. I HATE peas. I don’t buy them…I won’t eat them, won’t use them, and consider them to be evil, vile, slimy, pills of yucky awfulness. Peas are one of 3 foods I won’t eat that includes Tofu, and brains. That is all.

My green contribution was my beautiful parsley and thyme from my garden. I had a wonderful celery from the farmers market and included all the green tops from that wonderful veg.

My husband had a Dr appointment and his cardiologist got on him to keep up with his diet, and to exercise. He told him he would start tomorrow, because I was making Chicken Pot Pie for dinner.

I texted my son that I had made pot pie for dinner. He was still at his lab. He busted through the door about 6:15 demanding “Did you save me any pot pie?” The boy was satisfied with 2 serving of pie.

It’s one of the most satisfying things in my life, to make something good for my family, and for us to enjoy it together.

My little family might be the only culinary stage for which I perform, but it’s the only one that matters to me.

The feminists coming up might mock me for enjoying the satisfaction that I get for making a meal for my family, but they will never know my joy. I feel a bit sorry for them.

I am a woman fully satisfied in my profession, and in my passion for cooking for my family. I am so blessed.

Trial runs

In the pre-planning stages of Christmas, and my husband’s birthday we have Beef Wellington! It’s my first stab at this recipe. My lucky husband and children get to experiment with me.

I added a bit of sautéed greens, and a little red wine reduction to bring it all together.

Cooking is one of those things that I really enjoy, especially when it works!

A memory

I was flipping around Facebook, and they will occasionally bring up old posts to re-share. This one came up today.

This was from the first Honey Tasting I had done for my wild gal-pals 3 years ago.

We had Tallow tree, Yaupon, and Wildflower honey. That’s the darkest to lightest in the spoons. I also served creamed honey, which my friend Sheryl thought was honey and butter.

I served a baked brie, fruit, different breads, smoked meats, and I made dark chocolate truffles with creamed honey centers. That is the white ball in the square dish, upper left Photo. I had to coat the truffles in white chocolate, just because.

Of course we had to have a bit of wine too. The red wine, in my opinion went the best with the honey and smoked meats. The Chardonnay went great with the Brie. The Champagne was fabulous with the fruit.

I’m not the biggest fan of Facebook, but the look back is fun.

Bolognese a bubbling

What is it about rainy days, and the first “cool” front that makes me want to cook?

I got to the store early after spotting a great recipe for a Short Rib Bolognese sauce.

Today I’m grateful to find a new recipe to try, ingredients easy to acquire, and a fabulous pot to cook it all.

It’s a bubbling. Should be ready for dinner, and the house now smells amazing.

What do you like to cook on rainy days?

Farmers Market

I made my way into the evolving downtown Tomball, TX today to visit their new Farmer’s Market. ¬†(Tomball, isn’t the most hopping place like Spring, but it’s getting there.)

It was the usual display of pop-up gazebos, aligned in a row, with just a few off to one side, like a very short T.

A guitar player was singing songs in Spanish.

There were actual Farmers there displaying their fruits and veggies.

There were Ranchers there taking orders for beef, chicken, and pork.

There were purveyors of BBQ, selling sliced beef sandwiches.

Two Beekeepers showed up selling honey, pollen, and Beeswax.  I took the time to chat with them about their girls, and how things were looking for them this Spring.

There were handmade Bird Houses, Soaps, Lotions, and Commercial Skin Care lines ready to make a sale.

I saw a local Olive Oil merchant and chatted him up about his trees.  The olive oil was quite good, and who knew that Mission Olives did so well in Texas?

Gathering my goodies, I made my way to the car. ¬†There is nothing like a fresh tomato. ¬†Just pulled radishes, and just cut Brussel Sprouts called out to me, so I gathered them up too. ¬†I can’t wait to make a great dinner.

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Sneaking a spoonful of Cream Cheese Frosting

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Mama’s Cafe San Francisco, CA. ¬†Photo by me. ¬†Amazing baked goods, huh?

Looks yummy, was yummy, and my mind went whirling down memory lane. ¬†Cake, cookies, brioche french toast, maple syrup, butter…..Oh my.

I’m in Week 6 of Weight Watchers, and I’ve been a good point-counting girl for the most part. ¬†It was a rough start, as I gained 3 pounds the first week I went on the program. ¬†I’m now down 8 (should be 11, but I grumble) pounds, and I find myself getting weak. ¬†My mind drifts to the baked goodies I love, more bread than sweet, but darn it! ¬†Sometimes a gal needs something sweet to keep her from going stir crazy.

I ate my carefully portioned chicken salad for lunch, and went about moving the uneaten lettuce around on my plate.  There had to be something gooey, creamy and sweet in the house?  Some sort of sugar jolt to keep me from grumbling about had to be hiding in the recesses of the pantry or fridge.

Wandering from the pantry to the fridge, I moved around the Almond Milk, the Kefir, and the bottles of water….and Ah HA! ¬†I found a canister of bliss. ¬†Creamed Cheese Frosting, just hiding back there, waiting to be rescued.

Checking it over, debating to taste the sweet creamy yumminess of the canister, I hesitated and put it back. ¬†Chastising myself for blowing my diet…..BUT! ¬†I quickly cut-that-shit-out and grabbed that can, ripped it open, and got myself a spoonful.

Not to get too greedy, I took my good, sweet time, enjoying that indulgence.  It was totally worth it!!!!!

Today I’m grateful for weight loss, and I’m grateful for indulgences. ¬†Life is about balance, and not all about Chicken Salad, cabbage, or a number on a scale.

Enjoy LIFE!  We only get one.

 

American tradition

Normally, I don’t bake.

Normally, I don’t eat sweets.  

But tomorrow is a special day.  The return of Blue Bell Icecream to our stores!  

The Original Blue Bell Creamery is 40 miles from my house in Brenham, Tx.

  
It’s a summer time tradition to have either Home Made Vanilla, or their Peach Icecream on the 4th of July.

Blue Bell voluntarily recalled their entire outstanding inventory earlier this year, and shut down production due to a Listeria outbreak that killed 3 people.  They worked diligently to remedy the situation, and have worked with the Food and Drug administration to test, retest, and certify the quality of their product.  They almost went out of business.  But, there was a huge support movement launched across the country, and a few big investors lent their finances to keep the 100 year old creamery solvent.

Tomorrow is the big day.  They are starting with their top seller, Home Made Vanilla.  So a few of us are having a little Welcome Back Party.  In honor of such a great occasion, I baked little Apple Pies.

  
Aren’t they cute?

Apple Pie and Icecream. I might have to drive the Chevy pick up to the party, and be an American Cliche.

After all, what’s more American than Apple Pie, Icecream, and Chevrolet?