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Showing posts from September, 2015

Mickey Update

Before I head off to my conference sessions for today, I just wanted to give a quick Mickey update. Reports from home indicate he's still MIA. There has been no evidence so I'm thinking it might be safe. I feel very torn. I would've liked to have seen a body but the compassionate side of me is thinking "way to go Mick - a great escape!" I get home tonight so I'll be posting soon about my N'awlins experience.

Mickey MIA

I'm at a total loss. We have not seen any evidence of Mickey. Does that mean he's gone? Does that mean he's died in the wall from no food? Is he just playing with us so that we let our guard down? I'm leaving for a trip to New Orleans and the Sous Chef is in charge of all things Mickey. I hope to get a text that there has been a resolution of some sort while I'm gone.

Mickey 7 Humans 0

Yes we have tried to catch this little bugger 7 days/nights now and have had no luck. Our new theory is perhaps we have plugged up all the holes and it is stuck down the basement. We have set a trap there. I hope tonight is the night! I don't know how much more of this I can take. I certainly hope he has not brought any friends with him!

Mensa Member?

I think Mickey is a member of Mensa. We heard him last night but could not determine where he was in the kitchen (or should I say the Sous Chef could not locate him - I certainly was not looking). He had been lurking in the toaster cabinet the night before and averted the glue trap. This is absolute torture. Still no cooking going on.


The kitchen is closed temporarily! We have a mouse and I'm totally freaking out. We have lived here for 23 years and have never had a mouse. We don't know how it got in but it had better leave! We have tried to catch it using different bait. I'm thinking it's a vegan - it has not liked Gorgonzola, provolone, sopresseta, or Nutella (we were out of peanut butter). It did, however, have a party with a nice plum tomato. I'm so grossed out I have not been able to cook. We've either grilled or ordered out. I can't stand even going in there.

Over the weekend we had a massive pantry/cabinet purge, as well as a deep, deep clean. During which I was petrified that it was going to come flying at me at any moment. I guess this is one way to sort out all the old and expired things in your cabinets. We also had a massive hole plugging stint. My kitchen is now sealed up tight as a drum. 

We have been left with no other recourse. We have to resort to glue traps. It feels s…

FBF Sous Vide Steak

It was the beginning of the summer when I was espousing the wonders of  Sous Vide Steak and I haven't changed my mind yet. I thought why not close out the summer with a Flash Back Friday (I know Labor day was a week or so ago but I've been behind in my postings and this was actually what we ate on Labor Day).

Although this time I did the same temperature, it was a little more done. Perhaps the Sous Chef let it stay on the grill a little longer?? Or perhaps it was because it was grass-fed beef? It was pretty lean without much marbling? I don't know but it was still a pretty darn good steak. Tender as all get out. I did the same but added Rosemary to the thyme this time around.

Grilled Eggplant

There's still a few really good grilling days left and this Grilled Eggplant is a good one to try. It's a real quick and easy one.

North African Style Grilled Eggplant (Adapted from Real Simple*)

3T olive oil
2 T honey
1T ground cumin
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1"thick rounds

Mix oil, honey, and cumin together. Make slight cuts on both faces (do not cut through) of the eggplant. Brush with honey/oil mixture. Place on grill over indirect heat. Close lid. Cook until tender and slightly browned. Turn and cook until browned - total about 20 minutes.

Easy - peasy. It's hardly even a recipe.

*I could not find the link for this no matter how many different ways I searched so you're on your own if you are looking for the original)

Pumpkin Ice Cream

So we had one or two cool evenings and it got me to thinking about fall. What is fall but pumpkins and all sorts of comfort food. I had also told my niece about my ice cream making binge and she thought that pumpkin would make a pretty cool ice cream for Thanksgiving on top of pie. I like the way this girl thinks! So off I went...

Pumpkin Ice Cream

2 c heavy cream
3/4 c pumpkin puree
3/4 c brown sugar, packed
1 vanilla bean, split
1 c half and half
2 eggs
1 yolk
pinch ground clove
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t ginger

In a medium saucepan combine heavy cream,  pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and split vanilla bean. The pumpkin will be a little lumpy at first so be sure to give it a good whisk. Heat over medium low flame until about 160.

Pour the half and half into a heat resistant bowl. Place a strainer over the bowl and then the bowl into a larger bowl of ice water. Set aside.

Whisk eggs and yolk in a small bowl. Slowly whisk some of the warmed heavy cream into the eggs. Pour egg…

Chocolate Coconut Pound Cake

I had some buttermilk that needed using so I poked around in my untested recipe file (OK my HUGE file) and found this.

I pretty much stuck to the recipe from BonAppetit (shocking I know) so I'm not even going to bother posting the actual recipe here. At first I thought it didn't have enough coconut then I thought Oh I should have added some chocolate extract. Then I realized that the entire cake was pretty much eaten within 24 hours by the two of us and thought hmmm I don't think any changes are needed.

I did have to tent the cake with foil because the coconut on top had started to brown a little too much. The cake was nice and dense as a good pound cake should be (according to the Sous Chef who is a bit of a connoisseur of pound cakes). I also used raw sugar to sprinkle on top of the cake instead of regular sugar. I used sweetened coconut because that's all I had. Otherwise, I followed their measurements and directions. It sounded like they were pretty serious about …

Chicago Eats

I found myself once again in Chicago and I was determined this time to eat at Shaw's Crab House. Last time we didn't have a reservation so we couldn't get a table. This time I cleared the evening with my niece and we made reservations. My niece and I independently came to decide on ordering the same thing. I'm talking appetizer and main meal. We both got the Lobster Bisque and the Parmesan crusted Haddock. They were both very good. I stole a few bites of the key lime pie for dessert. It was so good. Not that heavy-thick sweetened condensed milk nonsense. Real deal whipped cream too.

I had to go to Garrett's for popcorn. I was not in the mood for sweet so I decided to opt out on the caramel. I went for the cheese. I was going back and forth on the small or medium. I am so glad I got the small. I would have been feeling mighty sick if I had gotten the medium. As it was I didn't finish all of it.

I also hit up David's Teas. They had quite a selection of teas. …

Quinoa, Corn & Tomato Salad

I thought I had posted this recipe before and was going to do a FBF (Flash Back Friday) but I never did post it. So I guess it's a TNT (Totally New Thursday?? - that will never catch on). You observant readers will note that it isn't Quinoa at all in that bowl there. It's Israeli Couscous. I got my quinoa out of the cabinet from my trusty Oxo container and guess what?? There were bugs in there (YUCK!!). Thank goodness for these containers or my whole pantry would have been infested! Been there and done that - hence the Oxo containers. They contained the damage (pun intended).

So there I was all set to make this salad and no quinoa. I poked around looking at what other grains might make a good substitute. I looked at the millet but there wasn't quite 1 cup. Then I saw the Israeli Couscous and thought YES!

Quinoa, Corn, & Tomato Salad (Adapted from Cooking Light - Circa 2007)

1 1/2 c water
1 c quinoa (or Israeli Couscous)
1 c fresh corn cut from cob (about 2 ea…

Thin Crust Sourdough Pizza

This recipe shouldn't be confused with regular sourdough pizza. This is produces a nice thin crust. Yes I use herbs in the crust again but this is a little different.

Thin Crust Sourdough Pizza

1 c sourdough starter, unfed
2 T water
pinch of yeast
1 c flour
2 t oregano
3T basil
3 cloves garlic minced, sauteed in 2 T olive oil

Place starter in a bowl. Make a slight indent in the center and sprinkle yeast and pour in 2T water. Let sit for a few minutes. Add flour, herbs to -  dough will be a little stiff. Knead until incorporated. Add garlic and olive oil. Dough will be a little sticky add additional flour as needed. Place in greased bowl and let sit until doubled in size (about 2 hours). Divide dough in half. Roll dough out on parchment paper to a rough round (or square) until fairly thin. Let sit until slightly puffy - about 45 minutes. Sprinkle with desired toppings. Transfer to well preheated baking stone (500 oven). Bake until edges are slightly browned and toppings are heated.