Monday, April 27, 2009

Week-end Round Up

I had the Fantasy Book group at my home Friday evening to discuss Bone Song by John Meaney. There was quite a bit to discuss, as it was a very, very odd book. Well liked, but the world building was incredible and complicated.

Anywhoo, I served a roasted red pepper hummus with pita pieces and tappenade with sliced baguette (both dips thanks to the good people at Trader Joe's), and some pickled things because my friends do love some pickles. And some sangria.

For dinner I made a smoked salmon quiche/tart that I served with a salad and some Mondavi Savingnon Blanc. Dessert was a lovely double chocolate cheesecake and coffee.

After my guests left, I cleaned up and read for a while so I didn't get to sleep until almost 3 a.m. I was mostly worthless on Saturday, but managed to get my hair colored and do a little shopping. I've got to wonder about the color job, however, since no one seems to have noticed. Either the colorist did a very subtle job or my gray was not as noticeable as I thought.

Yesterday I baked some banana bread, fed my Amish Friendship Bread starter, and cooked some country style ribs in the crock pot. These I ate with fried okra and cole slaw. Oh yeah!

The smoked salmon quiche was my own creation, but I've done by best to record (approximate) measurements. The fun of a quiche/tart is that you can play with it.

Smoked Salmon & Goat Cheese Quiche

4 oz smoked salmon, chopped fine
1/2 c chopped green onions
2 oz crumbled goat cheese
5 large eggs
3/4 c heavy cream
1/2 c sour cream
2 T chopped fresh dill
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Place pastry in 10" tart pan and blind bake. Allow to cool.

Place green onions on bottom of crust. Layer next with goat cheese and top with salmon. Mix eggs, cream, sour cream, fresh dill, salt, and pepper and pour into crust. Bake 38 to 45 minutes, until top of tart begins to brown. Serve warm or at room temp.

*Use your own best recipe or the roll out stuff from the refrigerator section of the supermarket. In this case I used the recipe from Ina Garten's Goat Cheese Tart in Barefoot in Paris.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Warning To All of MY Friends Out There

I've been given a bag of starter for Amish Friendship Bread. In 10 days I will have three additional bags of starter. Get ready.

And for fun, here are the steps leading up to the day I start doling out more starter:

Day 1--do nothing
Day 2--mash the bag
Day 3--mash the bag
Day 4--mash the bag
Day 5--mash the bag
Day 6--Add to bag 1 c AP flour, 1 C sugar, ! C milk, mix well in bag
Day 7--mash the bag
Day 8--mash the bag
Day 9--mash the bag

Day 10--pour contents of bag into non-metal bowl and add:
1 1/2 c AP flour
1 1/2 c milk
1 1/2 sugar
Measure out 4 1 cup portions of batter into 4 1 gallon zip lock bags. Keep one for yourself and give the other bags to friends. You will be baking every 10 days.

Seriously, bread that is more work and responsibility than my cat. Do I take it out of town with me? What happens when I run out of friends? And what exactly is meant by "mash the bag"?

I have, however, tasted the bread and it may just be worth the effort.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Bouncing On the Balls of My Feet

I have big plans for this week-end. I'm so excited, I'm bouncing around like a kid on the balls of my feet. What, you may ask, has me this excited?

I'M GOING BRA SHOPPING!!!!!!! Rebekkah Vaughn, here I come! Plus, I'm going to Trader Joe's!

Oh, what a sad life, when the prospect of new foundation garments makes you this happy.

On another note, a co-worker just introduced me to the most amazing place. I must go there soon. Very soon. Sherlock's Books in Lebanon, Tennessee.

Check it out here and tell me if it doesn't sound like heaven. (At least my version of it.)

Hope you have a great week-end!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What a Crazy Day!

Our phones are all hinkie at work today. All calls are coming to me. No one else gets a call unless I'm on the phone. So I have take more than three times the regular number of calls while my co-workers are finding homes for stray dogs, listening to the state legislature, shopping online, and wasting time.

And, on top of that, I went in search of a Diet Coke. I walked up to the vending machine and inserted my dollar before realizing I was at the snack machine, not the soda machine. I couldn't get my dollar back. I tried. So instead I decided to get sugar-free cookies. I selected E5. Unfortunately, the sugar free cookies were E6. I had selected Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls. Damn! I love those things, but I don't need to eat them. Then the package hung up. I'm too cheap to leave them hanging, so I thumped the machine until they fell down.

I've been staring at the thing all day. I did get a Diet Coke, though.

I'm currently sitting in time out. Not for mis-behaving, to give myself a minute to catch my breath.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Prep

At work yesterday, we were sent to the storm shelter four times. I'm not complaining, though, having seen the devastation of Murfreesboro..a mere 25 miles away.

I left work and headed south for the holiday with my family. I got to Mom & Dad's about 5:30 and, after dinner, took Mom shopping for an Easter dress. This is a monumental task, as larg retail areas send her into sensory over-load. Plus there is the whole trying on of things. We picked out six dressed and headed into the fitting rooms. The first was full, so we were sent across the store to a handicapped fitting room. Is it odd to anyone else that they would make the handicapped traverse the store to access the handicapped fitting room?

Sis met up with us at this point, so there were the three of us in the fitting room--if you've never been inside, the handicapped fitting rooms are huge--and lifted, tugged, cajoled and encouraged untile we found something we could all agree on. Then it was off to the cosmetic counter where Sis and Mom scored some make-up and a free gift while I scooted across the store to buy stockings for Mom and myself.

Today started early. I was showered and dressed by six and shared a couple of cups of coffee with Dad while Mom slept in (I think we wore her out!). Then I made breakfast of eggs, sausage, and biscuits. After cleaning the kitchen and doing some straightening around the house, Sis came over and we headed to Publix to finish up shopping for our Easter dinner.

Here is our menu (for now).

Chicken and cornbread dressing
Green beans
Purple hull peas
Scalloped potatoes
Broccoli salad
Carrot and raisin salad
Buttermilk salad
Devilled eggs
Lemon bars
Chocolate something
Sugar free dessert

So far this afternoon, I've made the cornbread for the dressing, the buttermilk salad, the carrot salad and the lemon bars. I've also cooked some bacon for the broccoli salad. I'm taking a break before making the broccoli salad. Then I'll cook dinner for tonight, spaghetti. Afterwards, I will make the dressing.

I plan on roasting the chicken before church in the morning and then making the potatoes and baking the dressing when we get home. Sis is bringing the ham, green beans, peas, devilled eggs, and chocolate dessert. My aunt and cousins will bring tea, rolls, and a sugar free dessert.

I'm feeling good about it all right now...hope I can say the same when I get up in the morning.

And may we all appreciate the sacrifice that made the blessed holiday so joyous and celebrate the ressurection of our Lord!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Fat Friday

We take turns bringing snacks to the office on Fridays, and today was my turn. I forgot that I had book group last night when I signed up, so it was a bit of a challenge to get it done.

I prepared the Applesauce Breakfast Cake from the BH&G Jr cookbook when I got home from work and began prepping the ingredients for quiche. I fried bacon and saute'd mushrooms and onions and grated cheese. When I got home from book group, I blind baked my pie crusts. I got to bed about 11:30 last night and was up again at 4:40 preparing the quiche.

At mid-morning, one quiche has been eaten and about half of the cake.

Bacon & Ham Quiche

1 9" pie crust (home-made or the prepared sheets in the refrigerated section of the super market

6 slices bacon
1/2 c chopped onion
1 cup sliced porcini mushrooms
3/4 c half and half
1 c cooked chopped ham
6 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp Lawry's Season salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 c shredded Swiss cheese
2 T all purpose flour

Blind bake pie crust for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, remove pie weights and foil/parchment and bake another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temp to 350.

Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp and remove to paper towels to drain. Crumble and set aside. Saute onions and mushrooms in bacon grease until tender. Add crumbled bacon, half & half, ham, eggs, and seasonings and mix. Toss cheese in flour and add to egg mixture. Pour into pie shell and bake @ 350 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Mmmmm... I do love my pork!