Monday, November 23, 2015
1. I hate to be manipulated
2. I hate people (a.k.a. "the public")
3. I hate crowds
4. I hate people in crowds
5. I hate spending heaps of cash at one time
That doesn't mean I won't shop on-line (or that I haven't already). As a person who has a hard enough time resisting impulse buys, I don't even dare look at a circular. I find that with careful research and knowing what you want to spend on an item, you'll do fine. I am also in favor of "serendipity" which is different than impulse. One Christmas gift I found made its way home because when I saw it made me think of someone. Those are the most fun kinds of buys -- things you want someone to have.
I don't want to buy based on what merchandisers think should be important to us. Because of this, I refuse to take any Black Friday circular seriously. Besides, once Turkey Day is done, all I'll want to do on Friday, is nothing!
Sunday, November 22, 2015
It's hard for me to share a recipe for the things I make because I start out with a basic premise and it gets corrupted by what I find in the fridge as I'm going in and out of it during my meal prep.
The lasagna idea was to use refrigerated/no boil sheets, then add a white sauce that started with a base of flour/fat (butter and lard). I knew I was going to add milk to that and start adding in cheese. I like to melt all of the cheese together so it can spread on evenly in thin layers. My "sauce" had ricotta, mozzarella, fontina, asiago, gorgonzoloa, parm and neufatchel. I found the latter in the fridge while I was poking around and just decided to use it. I also added in some chicken stock to thin it down a bit, then created a little extra flavor with green onion and a scallion. I found one lone large white mushroom, so I sauteed that with some onion and that was put on to one of the layers.
The lasagna was crafted in thin layers, putting down sauce, the lump crab meat (from a can), and then moving on to another layer. The second layer up had the mushroom. I did not add the asparagus until I got to the top, then I sprinkled on more cheese. There was sauce left so I mixed the rest of the crab into that. A small portion was combined with blue cheese dressing and warmed in the microwave so I could pour some over each piece when it came time to serve. I heated it up the second time around at 350 degrees.
If this sounds incoherent, it is. That is just the way I cook! Tonight I spread the cheese and crab mixture over pizza dough and added cut up asparagus that was left over. There wasn't much so I decided to use up red onion and capicola that we had. I put a little more mozzarella over that.
Our meals are just strange. I don't read a recipe. I just buy stuff I think will taste good together and start using it. It is always a surprise at the end -- but as long as it tastes good, it doesn't matter how I got there. Just that I made it!
Saturday, November 21, 2015
My week was busy but we still had to push on for the weekend as it's TBG's BFF's birthday (she's the dama ciclista and latina hermana pequena - little sister). She, her boyfriend and mother are coming for dinner so I had to start early shopping for the meal and preparing in advance.
We're having a crab and asparagus lasagna. I made it up ahead so it could solidify and I could warm it up tonight. Lasagna always tastes better the next day so it will cool and be cooked again. I have bread dough rising and have already prepared the topping for an antipasto.
The table is mostly set but I have yet to iron the napkins and wrap the gift. TBG still has his cold and is napping. He worked this morning and took the pup out for exercise, then vacuumed. The house still needs more attention.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
... fortunately doesn't include boring food. Once again, I find I am too busy to post -- but not too busy to cook. Tonight it was pasta with salmon, asparagus, spinach, mushroom, onion, goat cheese, Asiago cheese and a little bit of pancetta.
TBG has a horrid cold and I have a big headache. I'm looking forward to shower and bed. Once again, I apologize for neglecting the blogosphere!
Saturday, November 14, 2015
In order to make this into a slurry, I added a little bit of the fresh stock and some buttermilk. I whizzed that in the Vitamix and put in a few B-Vitamin complex pills. The ensuing mixture is definitely revolting to the human pallet, but just the type of thing suited to the canine sense of taste. This is what I call "puppy sauce." It is well appreciated snack in our house but also something I make for friends.
Adding this effort on to my work-load of pre-event cooking meant about twenty extra minutes -- but it also meant that food wasn't being thrown away. It's really important to me that we don't waste food. Sometimes it can't be helped. But if spending a little extra time yields a healthy treat for a friend's dog -- I'm up for it!
Friday, November 13, 2015
Then there is the issue of the ID badge. Mine is used for building access and to access network printers -- and I also keep my subway pass in the same holder. Rather than wearing a lanyard, I opt for a belt clip with an expanding lanyard attached to that.
These two belts were on clearance at Khol's. A usual, the full retail for them was ridiculous. Not so ridiculous at 80% off, costing me three bucks a piece. I apparently saved $54. While I love belts, I never pay full retail for them. Every belt reaches the end of the season and there is generally enough quantity to garner sizable mark-downs. They are also an item that tends to be vastly over-priced on the second-hand market. Look for them on clearance at the end of the season and you'll find that you can build a nice collection without spending a lot of money.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Ferris Beuller would not have chosen my day for his day off. I had decided to combine Veteran's day with two days off to give myself a long weekend. While I did sort of take it easy yesterday, today I worked too hard! While I had thought I might re-grout the kitchen tile, TBG ask me not to do it because he didn't want effort put into something he hates so much and we plan to replace. Instead, I spent hours cleaning the kitchen.
I guess cleaning was a better choice as it really had to be done. I steamed the tile and the cabinet exteriors, dealt with the interior and exterior of the stove/oven, steamed the range hood as well as the floor. It took hours. I am pretty sore now too.
This is the last "big thing" I'm feeling obligated to do on my little half-vacation. We are having people over Saturday night, so cleaning for that won't be as tough -- but I'll still have work to do. I hate having to waste a day off to do this, but now that I am back at work full-time, I just can't keep everything as clean as I'd like.
Tomorrow I'm hoping to get in a daytime swim and a nice bake in the sauna. I might also design my holiday card while I'm at it, and try to catch up on a few more episodes of Game of Thrones.
One of these years, I'm going to take a vacation like this and go someplace warm by myself. If I could ever think of a way to do it guilt-free. Oh well, at least my kitchen is clean!