Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Great Gatsby and Totally Lit Book Club

We met last night, at my house, for our book club Totally Literature...(or Lit for short), and it's funny because while I took a few pictures, I didn't see a book in any of them.
I saw food...and I saw wine. And I saw friends having a nice time. But we really, really did talk about the book. Quite a lot.

That was the only theme of the night....except for perhaps, the decadent (not), extravagant (not), indulgent (not), profuse (not), BBQ.

Many thanks to fellow book clubbers, Kathy and April, for coming early to help me put the ka-bobs on the skewers.
It isn't the ka-bobs themselves that are hard to do (a little meat, a little marinade), it's the skewering of them.
(I think I'm making up words as I go along here...skewering?)
I would have still been "ka-bobbing" this morning, if not for their help.

Ah, my point? Book Club.
As always, it is fun to hear everyone's opinion of the book. Sometimes they vary slightly and sometimes there is a huge difference, but we always enjoy the points of view.
It's early...6:00 a.m.
my brilliant blogging ability is "still asleep". My words are not flowing from my mind to my fingertips this morning. sorry. :~)
We ate and talked and then we kept talking and talking and talking---about the book of course.
I think towards the end of our discussion, we came to the conclusion... because some of us had a hard time understanding why "Gatsby" was one of the "Great American Novels".... that for it's time, it was a very controversial book. Something new, a shocking social commentary of the very rich. And F. Scott Fitzgerald was one of the first post ( oh what was it? I've taken literature classes for heaven's sake... I just can't think this morning) Postmodernism... no, maybe that's not right....
But he is considered one of the "Lost Generation" those American Authors, or rather "literary notables" to quote Ernest Hemingway, who lived abroad, in Paris, after WWI, and wrote very, very depressing novels. But very, very worth reading.
In some ironic way.....looking back now.... I think Fitzgerald's novel of Gatsby is a bit autobiographical. Only a bit. (and its' sad, when you think about it), the partying, the drinking, the wastefulness, the flaunting of money, the women.... and then at the end of his life, (Fitzgerald's) the obituaries were condescending and very few people attended his funeral...he was 44 years old.

It was a nice evening. A nice book talk.... it got darker and while you can't tell in the pictures, I had to get a flashlight to be able to see my notes on the book...and then we'd pass it around...just like a campfire group!
There is nothing nicer than talking about books with friends. And eating with friends. And laughing with friends.
We did it all last the Totally Lit Book Club meeting.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

kind of sad

It's really kind of sad, in a way, that I don't have a recent recipe or a real "food post and/or tutorial" on my blog...especially since Christy gave me the "Yum Yum Award".
But in my defense, since I've been making all the recipes at "Southern Plate" and "The Adventures of Kitchen Girl" and "Pioneer Woman Cooks" and "Mommy's Kitchen" ( I could go on), it would kind of be---um...odd? Since they've already been posted by the BEST OF THE BEST.
so, right now, I'm busy cooking....all of YOUR recipes. Thanks. (I'll have a new dish soon...)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Check out this interesing site on "food myths", sent to me by my father-in-law. He thought it might be interesting for people who like to cook.

I've been gone to a wedding. (I've also had a horrible summer cold), BUT I do have real live "food blogs" coming up soon.

Wedding cake.....beautiful!! and made by the groom's Aunt. Check out the cake topper! LOL

Thursday, July 24, 2008


PS check out my "AWARDS" from Christy at "SouthernPlate".
She's way too kind to me!!
Thanks again Christy!

I guess I can't

I guess I cannot have it all.... food blog, book blog... it's two hard for me, so in my brilliant mind, 2 different blogs will work better. :~)
So, I am setting up the "Book" blog as we speak.
Tonight is my book club ( one of 3 or 4 ) and we are having "Indian Food". It'll be tasty, I'm sure.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Soup's on

Just a quick explination of the slide show...
every year in January...the coldest, dreariest month of the year, I have a "soup supper". I've thrown the soup suppers for the past 8 years. It's very casual, we have throw-away bowls. And I ask EVERYONE else to bring a soup. And we have a "tasting". It's gotten to be quite a competition--a friendly one. And then, at the end of the evening, after our stomachs are full of soup and bread (a couple people always bring homemade breads) and dessert (I do the dessert)... I make everyone play a game. Usualy it's "Battle of the Sexes" with the men against the women. This year, the men won. Who knew, that my husband knew what an "empire waist" was?

But the fun is in the soup...and over the years, I've collected all the soup recipes and I have a cookbook of them. Of course I have to add to the cookbook every year. There is always some great soups! And great friends .... Friday Friends.
So, when the holidays are over, the snow is deep and the temperature is down, come on over and we'll try some soups!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Why can't I have it all? Why can't we all? Cooking "and" books ... do I have to have two different blogs? Sometimes I like to cook. Sometimes I like to read. Sometimes I like to read cookbooks.

By the way...a question: what is your most favorite cookbook EVER?

Last Sunday, my husband, Rich and I decided to do a beef brisket. I know, I know....out here in the west, we really don't "bbq", we "grill".
But we really wanted to do a slow bbq'd beef brisket. Rich sometimes really gets into the grilling/bbq'ing, and HIS favorite cookbook is "How to Grill", given to him last Christmas from his sister, Cherrie.
So we set out to do the best "Nevada-style" slow grilled beef brisket we could.
Please, PLEASE, no comments from great Texas BBQ-ers, making fun of us "westerners", but comments on how to REALLY do a brisket would be greatly appreciated!

I marinated it for a few hours in some store-bought marinade. I made a rub from the "how to grill" cookbook. We rubbed.

We used a home-made BBQ sauce. Yum!!

Rich started the charcoal grill and added hickory chips. We cooked over indirect heat.
We enjoyed our afternoon. I sat up in my secret reading spot, under the big tree on our little hill. I was trying to finish "The Great Gatsby" in time for our book club this month. ( I would insert picture of me here, reading under the tree....but hey, the camera adds 10 pounds!! or many more in my case... and Rich took the picture, and it was not flattering LOL )

I'm being "honest" here for my brisket evaluation...
it was good... but could have been better.

(pay no attention to the worn down dirt in the grass spot. We have a basset hound, need I say more? )

How can a brisket be both "tender" and "overcooked" at the same time? Because it was. The over-cooking was my fault, because I wasn't quite ready with the rest of the meal, and made him wait a bit before taking it off the grill.
And....he used a bit too many hickory chips. :~)
It was really, really SMOKED and not bbq'd enough for me.
Maybe we just needed more sauce?
We used a homemade bbq sauce. It's a secret family recipe made by Rich's brother Scott and his wife Leslie...and no one, NO ONE knows what's in it.
It will go to their grave with them. (please no) Sorry about that, but it's good sauce, so you'll just have to do your best with YOUR favorite sauce.

Anyway, it was our first attempt to "slow cook" a brisket. It tasted good, but next time, a few minutes less, and few less hickory chips and it will taste great!

Lean and Mean Texas Barbecued Brisket
adapted by "me" from "How to Grill" by Steven Raichlen

1 trimmed brisket (5-6 lbs), with a layer of fat at least 1/4 inch thick.

1 package marinade of your choice.
marinate brisket as directions say.

3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Blot the brisket dry with paper towels. Combine all the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl and stir to mix. Rub this mixture onto the brisket on all sides. If you have time, let the brisket stand in the refrigerator, covered for about 4-6 hours, but you can certainly cook it right away.
set up the grill for indirect grilling. When ready to cook, toss 1 cup wood chips on the coals. Place the brisket, fat side up, on the hot grate, away from the coals, cover the grill until done, mopping with a good bbq sauce every 15-30 minutes.
Cooks for about 3-4 hours. The internal temp should be 190 degrees.
Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice across the grain, and... serve and enjoy.

Monday, July 21, 2008

lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer

I finally gave Rich his new hammock. I thought it looked to "girly" when I got it, and at the same time, he mentioned "Cabella's", but what's done is done... and it looks good up there on our little hill. A place for me to lie and read my cookbooks! That must be why it's more "girly" than our last hammock.

Last night the wind blew....and our tree broke. Not the hammock tree tho. It makes me sad, as I try so hard to have a little bit of gardeny, forresty, greenery surprise, here in the high desert of Nevada.
It's hard to make out in my rudementry picutres, but the first one is looking at my tree and the broken limb. I don't know if you can tell, but half that tree is gone!
The second one is just a different angle...same tree.
(and just last week, we did all that trimming and pruning LOL )

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Beets Me!

a guest cook. : ~)
this recipe from my mother in law, Teresa Belcher, of Pasco, Washington.

This is my favorite recipe for roasted beets. I got it from Food Day on Jan. 28th 1997. That is the food section of the Portland, newspaper.

3 or 4 medium-large (2 1/2" diameter) beets
2 TBS. oil
1 TBS. vinegar

Cut leaves from beets leaving about 1 1/2" of stem. Set leaves aside to use as greens.

Being careful not to break the skin or root tail, gently scrub beets with a soft veggie brush. Cook beets with skin and tail on.

Bake: Arrange beets on a pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour.

Skin cooked beets. Slice the warm beats into a bowl and sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt, oil and a dash of vinegar.
Serve warm or cold. Serves 4

I sometimes skip the oil and vinegar, and just use salt and butter on the beets and serve them warm. I like them both ways.

So, as you can tell....
I made beets!

Last week, I had gone to our local Farmer's market... I'm all about Farmer's Markets. Love them.
We live in the north/middle of the great state of Nevada. Not known for it's long growing season, or diversity of the things we can grow. So, when I saw some big, red, beautiful beets, I just had to have them.
They were so pretty. And fresh. And local.
But I had never cooked beets.
I had an incredulous friend Theda (that's her, in my a cooking class we took together in Reno, NV), who couldn't believe I had never cooked or eaten fresh beats.
She suggested that I also try the orange beets, as they were a bit sweeter, and told me I could find them at "Whole Foods".
A brand new "Whole Foods' had just opened in Reno and Rich and I just happened to be going on Friday, so we made a quick side-stop and I picked up some orange beets too.
I had friends suggest "Harvard Beets" and some said to "boil" them, some said to "roast" them, which is what I settled on.
OH MY WORD. They were great!!
I love beets!! Who knew?

I roasted them, but then trying to get them to "slip out" of their skins....HOLY COW!! they were hot, hot hot!!
I will do Harvard beets next time... as a funny side, I made a joke about "Harvard" because my daughter in law, Sadie, goes to Yale...and I didn't get a recipe for Yale beets, only Harvard. sense of It's.... hahahahaaaa.

I also picked up the cookbook "How to eat Supper" by "the Splendid Table's" Lynne Rossetta Kasper, while I was in the big town at a bookstore. I think it will be great.


Here is the recipe for the pea dish... it's a cold one. My mom's.
Peas Pittsacado

1 lb fresh or frozen peas
3 green onions, sliced
6 slices cooked and crumbled bacon
1 cup sour cream
salt, pepper to taste
Mix, chill and eat.

Beets, Peas and grilled Tri-tip....that made our meal.
and....I think I found some vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce in the freezer. mmmm.....just to round things out.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I stopped at our Farmer's Market today on the way home from work.
I am a huge fan of Farmer's Markets!
But you know, here in Winnemucca... it's sad. Things are barely starting to ripen!!!!
so, there wasn't a lot....but MAN it was busy.
I bought 3 peaches, 4 apricots and....fresh beets.
I've never bought fresh beets in my life. I don't even buy canned beets. But these just looked so PRETTY, that I couldn't pass them up.

Now what do I do?

culinary vacation the vacation was a year and a half ago, but we had a great time!! Theda and I took a cooking class last March at the "Nothing to it" culinary school in Reno, NV.
We flew (well, I drove) in to spend a girls weekend together. We saw a movie, gambled, went to a lecture by the author of "the Kite Runner", took a cooking class, went to tea, and ATE at great places.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

this is a strange post

This might seem like a strange post in a food blog, so let me explain myself.
My blog's name is the Friday Friends. About 8 or 9 years ago...on a Friday, I sent out a note to all my friends near and far (West Coast mainly, but I have a Pennsylvania friend in there too) asking them "what's for dinner", as I was looking for something exciting and different to make that night. (or maybe just didn't want to do the thinking myself. Love to use someone else's ideas.... and that's why I'm so excited to find the world of food bloggers!)
Most of them answered, so I took their answers...did some cutting and pasting...and resent my first "blog". (only I didn't know what it was called back then).
It was about food...about dinner, or supper, depending on where you are from.
That's how it began. Then I started using these "friends" for my on-line journaling. They all got copies of my "blog" about once a week...(sometimes once a day ) and they answered and I asked questions, and it grew and grew.
So, here I am 9 years later, FINALLY discovering that there are real live "Food Bloggers" out there. (I never said I wasn't slow. LOL )
But I cannot leave the original "co-authors" of my blog... the original Friday Friends. So, every once in a while I will quote them.
And to be fair, some of them (Meghan, Linda, Theda, Debbie E) are much better cooks than I am....but they're not as good of bloggers as I am!

for example....this just in from Theda:
Tonight - No "Blog" or "how to" .... just spare ribs, potato salad and corn on the cob. Last month I bought a wood chip holder and some hickory wood chips. So I will cook them slow on the grill with the wood chips.

me/debbie/againshe doesn't do blogs. But she is a GREAT ENTERTAINER and cook. So, I will be her voice. Once in awhile. Or in other words, I will be stealing ideas from my great Friday Friend cooks!!! (who are all either related to me, or old, old friends) blog post for the day is:

Okay... I/we talk waaayyy too much about food.

random comments from the Friday Friends that have to do with food.
(completely out of context and RANDOM)
from the past 2 weeks....

From Traci:
bbq'd hamburgers sound good too. Maybe Sunday night!

Rich is so good to you. If I didn't want to cook Larry would be looking at me like, what the hell is your problem! Then he would want to know what was left in the frig. as leftovers....etc. By that time I just get up and fix it for him! The man is spoiled!!! But then again he doesn't cook either.

Rest of the tuna! It was either that or pb&J. ;)
I have a pork roast in the crockpot for dinner.
Just plain lemon pie for me.
I have been craving a big piece of chocolate cake at night. A big thick moist square of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Larry keeps telling me to make one and I won't because I'll eat the whole darn thing. I just want a piece to magically appear around 8:00 at night! :)
Larry wants apple and I will make a lemon one too. I'm talking holidays here, I hardly ever make pies any other time of the year unless I get fresh fruit.
I think Ryan would go for that too. I always make an extra pumpkin during the holidays for him to take home. Lauren wants chocolate and Ryan pumpkin! :)
Cherrie pie was my favorite for years. I used to ask my Mom for a cherry pie on my birthday instead of a cake!
We used to go pick; green beans, tomatoes, cherries, peaches & apricots. I would love the fruit now, not that I would make my own jelly like my Mom did but I might freeze them to make pies.
I know they have good wine and I love their cheese cakes!

to be fair....Traci and I e-mail each other's not like she makes "more" food comments than the rest of you per e-mail. hahahaahahaa!!

from Theda:
Bought 5 plus 3 German sausages.
S'mores........ I have been wanting them for one month. We won't go camping until the end of the month. I love roasted marshmallows.

I was getting hungry and felt the need for a full meal. I checked in with Sarah and we decided to meet at Poor Richards, (a Portland restaurant since 1959 ) at 6 pm. You get a full meal deal, soup or salad, garlic bread, meal with potato and vegetable and then ice cream with or without Hershey's chocolate syrup. The sign at our table said on Tuesday's the house wine can be purchased for $1.00. I bet tomorrow night will be busy, LOL.

from Meghan, (context,)
yeah Devin will try most everything and likes a lot of good stuff.... Nate is not as adventurous, he eats well as he likes a lot of meats, veggies and sides, just no combo 'weird' items... except potstickers?
I will eat...a GYRO, or two...fried artichoke hearts... tri tip sandwich.... garlic fries.... funnel cake...candy apple.... to name a few

from Diana:
Dessert- 1. cake, pie, fruit, pudding, ice cream, etc., served as the final course of a meal.2. British. a serving of fresh fruit after the main course of a meal.

I do not take the first piece of bread from a store bought loaf, but if it homemade I will. Also will always eat the first piece of bread from sourdough, French, or most bakery bread.

from Barb B:
Don't eat bread and potatoes at the same meal. (I was getting a little chunky in 6th grade, so this was her answer to the problem).Actually, my mom didn't give advice. She ruled like a dictator, so rather than advice, it was "THE RULE"----she ruled us with fear!

from Lisa:
not me sorry. We had beef stroganoff....

from Theda (on a post card from two days ago):
Having dinner at the Plank House at the Mill Casino. I ordered the paella...sure hope it will be yummy. If I win any $$$, I am buying a paella pan. Wish me luck!

from Theda today, (after having read "first draft" of blog post):
The Paella was okay but nothing to write about. Did not win any money but today while mowing the yard I decided a great way to get my Paella pan. Our anniversary is coming up so I will buy one for John and cook him a great meal. He would rather eat at home than out, so this should be the perfect gift.

okay....Happy Eating everyone!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Rhubarb Crunch

Let me tell you what just happened.... (my being a novice at this whole "blog" thing).
I got a "comment back" from "Southern Plate" lady. (I'm sorry, I do not know her name right now. I'm sure there is a way for me to find out, but that will have to wait until I get help from Sadie )
Anyway....if any of you want to visit her food blog, it's on my blog list, just click on it and it'll take you there.
(omg...that's a song lyric....I'll take you there. What is it from? )
Back to "Southern Plate"! She made some delicious "crock pot chicken and dressing" yesterday.... which I, of course, told Rich we were having in a day or two. It looked delish!! And as you all know, even tho I'm from Nevada and the Pacific Northwest, I LOVE all things Southern. Food, customs, slow-talking men. LOL.
It saddens me that Nevada doesn't really have a "taste", a flair--such as Southern Cooking or Tex-Mex or, well... ALL THE OTHER REGIONS DO! I need a catchy Nevada title for my blog...something to pull you in.
Rattlesnake recipes? (I've actually eaten rattle joke. I was young. And tipsy)
Anyway, back to "Southern Plate".
I LOVE HER BLOG. I am her fan!! (and her mother's and grandmothers---since she uses a lot of their recipes)
Check out her blog!!

Now for me? Well once a year, I like to make a rhubarb recipe. When I told Rich I was going to make rhubarb crunch, he asked me "why"? (Rhubarb is not his favorite, although he does like this crunch--he just forgets about it from year to year. But I answered, "because I can". And then I made it... not with the puny, sad looking rhubarb in my slide show (yes, that is from my garden....well actually my "sideyard" and I forget about it. It's by Monroe's pen. The rhubarb and some stray mint ), I actually bought some rhubarb at the market to make this crunch.

Sadie (my daughter in law, who has been on a week's vacation, and is not available to help me figure this blog set up right now) will help me figure this out sometime in the coming week. But for now, I can't figure out how to insert a picture and then write underneath it and then insert another picture and give more directions, etc etc. Whenever I try to insert, all my pics go to the top, so I am going to do two blog posts.... pictures of me making the rhubarb crunch and then this one with the directions.
Hopefully it will kind of work out.
I'll know in a minute.....if not...if this is all out of order...forgive me. I'm taking a break until after I learn how to do this. ~grins~

Rhubarb Crunch

1 cup flour

1 cup quick cooking oats

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup butter

In a large mixing bowl stir together the first 4 ingredients. Using a pastry blender, or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9x9x2 baking pan.

more rhubarb crunch

4 cups diced rhubarb

sprinkle evenly over the crust

rhubarb cruch continued

1 cup sugar

2 tblsp corn starch

1 cup water

1 tsp vanilla

few drops of red food coloring

In a small saucepan, stir together sugar, corn starch and water. cook until thick and bubbly. Add the vanilla and the food coloring.

Pour over rhubarb and crust.

Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture.

rhubard crunch cont.

Bake uncovered in a 350 oven for one hour or until topping is brown and filling is bubbly.

Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Monday, July 14, 2008

yard work

I chanaged my slide show! As you can see, I have mostly pics of Rich and I trimming trees on Friday night. Trees and bushes. I think I still need to trim the tree in the front, in fact, the next morning I went and took out a couple more of the lower branches. It scares Rich. But interestingly, pruning the heck out of the back yard "does not" scare him. We really needed to get some of that over-growth out. I was busy snapping pictures when all of the sudden he said, "It would be nice if somebody could help me by pulling these branches out". This said when he was underneath the Snowball bush, pruning away. I have to say, I did look around a bit for that "somebody" to help him.
But there was only poor old Monroe and the elusive cat, Izzy, so I had to put down my camera and actually go drag branches and do some pruning of the lilac bushes. We took down two big branches off the Poplar tree on the hill. I have a before picture, but didn't take an "after" It looks a lot nicer, but at first, it started me. It's so OPEN. My book reading/secret garden corner. You can see out tree branches hiding the view.
Because I am a novice at this, I had stuck in the middle of my yard work....two pictures of my fruit. There was a Farmers Market Thursday night at our "Kruise Night" and he had some great fruit. Nothing I love more than a good Farmer's Market!! And my pics of lunch on Friday...with embarrassed friends trying to hide/look away from the camera. (sigh) little do they know......
I will end with "yard work"..... we finished the weekend off with the weeding of the side yards and the rock garden.
Then we just sat there. It was wonderful.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

going out to lunch

Every Friday some of my friends and I go out to lunch. (consider this your invitation)

The trouble is, here in Winnemucca, Nevada, we are very limited on where we can go... seeing as we have only a handful of restaurants. Okay--two handfuls. But limited just the same.

Last Friday, we tried "Dos Amigos", a very nice place, with great food. The only trouble we've always had is with the waitress. She's very slow. And very forgetful. I'm sure she's related to the owner. She's always there, always working. And in the world of waitressing, you sometimes have big turnover. But not at "Dos Amigos". We get the same waitress all the time. Don't get me wrong....she's very nice. Just really slow. If I were doing a restaurant review, that would be the only bad thing I could say about the place. If you want a nice liesurly lunch, go ahead and enjoy, but if you are limited on time, you might want to skip it.

On Friday, I had a steak quesidilla. was so delicious! And big! Full of grilleds steak, cheese and veggies---similar to a fajita. I could only eat half of it and I took the rest to my husband Rich, who was happy to finish it off for me.

The only other interesting thing about lunch was my group of friends. NOT "foodie bloggers". Need I say more? LOL While they do love me, they don't always understand me. "why are you taking pictures of the food Debbie?" "don't you dare put us in the blog?" etc etc. They lucked out. This time.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Thanks Nigella

I was watching Nigella Feasts this morning. You know at the end, how she gets a "midnight" snack? It's her signature spot...that midnight snack.
Well today she got a piece of fried pork fat!!

It made a nice crisp crunch when she bit into it. It came from the fridge which got me to thinking...YUCK cold fat is gross! Not that hot fat is all that "un" gross, but a little bit of fat makes for good flavor, we all know that.

I guess, tho, that her fried pork fat is in essence just a home-made pork rind.

So...what do you think of fried pork fat?
Hot maybe....cold NEVER. For me that is.
What do you think of pork rinds?
Once in a great, great while, for me.
But of course, now I'm hungry for them.

Thanks Nigella!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

If you like clams

Now, while I know that a "white sauce" is traditional for clam spaghetti, (and Barb B makes a very nice one btw), this red sauce is incredibly easy and good, Good, GOOD!!!!
I make both thru-out the year.

Red Clam Linguine

1/2 package linguine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup butter
1 can (10 oz) whole baby clams or 2 cans (6 1/2 oz) chopped clams
1 can (7 3/4 oz) Paul Newman or Golden Grain MARINARA (not spaghetti) sauce
2 Tbls chopped parsley
grated FRESH parmesan cheese

cook linguine according to package directions; drain. In saucepan, combine butter, garlic, clams with juice and marinara sauce. Bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley.
Serve over linguine and sprinkle with grated parm cheese if desired.

That's it. Wa-la!! Done.
Very good.

Now....if I have the time, I might steam some clams to go along with.
this is what I do

3-4 pounds live, small, hard-shelled clams (steamer clams)
Note: if open, tap on shell, if it does not close--toss it!

3 tablespoons butter
1 small white onion, coarsely chopped
6 parsley stems
3 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
1 bottle of dry white wine
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
melted butter
thick slices of French bread

FDS recommends to soak the steamer clams in seawater or 1/3 cup kosher salt and 1 gallon water before cooking

one hour before serving, scrub clams with a brush in cold water and rinse. (the kosher salt soak will help remove sand from the clams)
In a steamer pot or large kettle, melt butter, sauté` onion and garlic until soft. Add white wine and pepper flakes and bring to a slow boil. Add clams and cover pot with tight fitting lid and steam over low-heat just until clams open, about 5-10 minutes. Do not over cook, as clams will become tough. Discard any clams that do not open.

Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer to large individual soup bowls with individual cups of melted butter. Pour broth thru a cheesecloth to remove any sand. The broth can be used as a dunking liquid for the French bread.


If you want a more traditional white sauce (which I do often), this one of Barb's is VERY GOOD.
You will find it in the Friday Friend cookbook, of which there are only two copies in the world (we're working on that)

Clam Sauce

3 cans minced clams
1/2 cup butter
3 T. sliced green onions
1 t. minced garlic
2 t. parsley flakes
2 T. Flour
1/2 cup white wine
1/8 t. Thyme
8 oz cooked spaghetti

Drain clams. Add chicken broth to make 2 or 2 1/2 cups liquid. Sauté onions, garlic and parsley in butter. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Gradually stir in clam liquid, wine and thyme. Cook till thickened. Stir in clams and season to taste.
Serve over pasta tossed with 1/4 cup butter and 3 T. parm cheese

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

More Monroe

Summer Backyard and Monroe....and a few herbs


While I didn't take pictures of Rich bbq-ing our pork steaks (pork steaks, green salad and watermelon for dinner tonight) I do have some pics of silly old Monroe trying to find a place to hide his bone.

He doesn't want us to see where he hides it, so he circles around and around and around the yard.

A photo of Rich too, in our after supper summer chairs. If you look closely, you can see the pork steak bone in his mouth.
I am sounding supiciously like a "dog-lover" LOL

50th wedding anniversary

Happy Wednesday!!
I was off on Monday...traveling back from up north, so Tuesday was a hard day at work (you know how it is when you have to play catch up) and today....well, it just flew by.

We had a great "anniversary" weekend. My parents were surprised to have Luke arrive with Mark and Sadie on Friday night, although Rich had spilled the beans about Camron earlier in the week.

I think that "a good time was had by all" at the open house. There were so many people, that it got a little crazy.... I thought "open house" we can just sit and visit. Well, none of us sat at all...and I'm not even sure what we were doing. Just busy, busy, busy.
The toast and roasts got kind of would have been very hard to get everyone to listen for any length of time.
We had people scattered on side lawns, front lawns, back lawns, patios, driveways, inside, all over the place!!!
My blog slideshow is some of the pictures we took over the weekend.
Not too many of the actual party, because I am waiting for disks from "everyone else"
As I said above, I think everyone had a good time. My parents and Betty and Jim were pleased. There is so much family history there, long, long time friends.....almost a century. NOT to say that my parents and Jim and Betty are a century old. LOL LOL
But...their parents were friends too.

We had balloons, custom made guest books, flowers on the tables, confetti, "gold" Hershey Kisses in champagne glasses on the tables (which melted fast....LOL), a basket/box thing for cards....oh, and a rented outhouse because we had so many people!!! LOL
And food, hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, beans, fruit, chips and cake.
Two kinds of anniversary cake....carrot and chocolate...and a lemon cake made by Betty because of a slight emergency.

The driver of the delivery truck set his hand on the box of the chocolate cake while getting out of the truck and smashed about 1/3 of the cake..... so Betty made a lemon cake at the last minute. (LOVE lemon cake)
all the cakes were good tho.

I will, of course, write more about it during the week.
For now, you can check out my slideshow on my blog.

and still wonder about the stalled tram. :~)

Computer Savy

Okay, so I am not very computer savy. The pics shown on my last blog were supposed to go in the middle of my blogging. I'll have to work on that.

Our impromtu backyard summer supper with April and Doug....

Food blog day #1. Or....Dinner #1. Or would that be "Supper" #1?

The pressure is on you know.

First, I must give credit, where credit is due....

(my favorite pasta cookbook)

okay...mistake #1....uploaded image in wrong place. (note to self: try to be more computer/webpage savy in the future)

But "Pasta with a Flair" is my favorite pasta cookbook. I make 2 or 3 recipes out of it all the time. One would be.... Linguini with red clam sauce. It's the quickest meal in the world. Yesterday I found this blog "foodie blog roll", where you have to be "accepted". There is some criteria: you must have 80% of your blog be about food, you must have had your blog for 3 months, and it must be updated on a regular basis. Then they will review your blog and see if it's food worthy.

Well, I thought to myself, what is the easiest, after dinner meal I can plan? That turned out to be my Linguini and clam sauce. I ran to the market after work, picked up my groceries, ran home ready to cook and take photographs and blog away....when April showed up on her scooter. She wanted to see my new car. I ended up inviting her and Doug to stay for dinner*, and we ate on the patio. Spur of the moment is not my thing, but it ended up being one of the nicest eveings this summer. We enjoyed salad and bread and pasta with friends. Who could ask for anything more?
* I'm still having trouble deciding if I want the evening meal to be dinner or supper.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

While I love my Friday Friends

While i do love my Friday Friends, and they in turn LOVE to read my blogs, they aren't much for making comments. It saddens me greatly.
So... I am thinking....about....changing to a "foodie" blog.
What do you think, oh dear Friday Friends?
I like to cook, I like to eat. I like to read, I like to read about cooking. And eating. and I like to eat while I'm reading. can I go wrong?
Food blog. There is a whole world of them out there.
I am checking into one right now (or tonight) , where you are on a "food blog roll". But your blog has to be 80% about food and cooking and recipes or they won't take you in.
I am doing it...tonight.

So...what's for dinner?
Me? Clam Linguini and salad

perhaps I better learn how to spell FF's (except for Barb) have been linient about my spelling mistakes, but I will now have to face strangers...who most likely know how to write linguini.

Friday friend recipe number 274 and 275-Grapefurit Shrimp Salad and Crispy Potato Chicken

  My Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown #274 and 275 My Mother-in-law's Grapefruit Shrimp Salad and Crispy potatoes . and you know all th...