Saturday, March 28, 2015

Orzo...the other rice

I am on an orzo kick.  I just can't seem to get enough.  Barilla does not make orzo, or maybe I just can't find it, so I am forced to use other brands....oh well.  We made Skirt steak, that I did not take a picture of and the orzo with tomatoes, peas, cheese, and cream but we added shrimp.  They changed up the whole thing.

I could get a little carried away with this. 

yeah I could

Monday, March 23, 2015

it's time....

Much to my chagrin, vacation is it was back to the daily grind....what can I say beside uuuuggggg!!!!!

The very exhausting day ended on a highpoint, a most fantastically delicious dinner.  The best part was that it was a no brainer and I had everything on hand.  The only thing I had to remember to do was to take the meat out early from the freezer.  

It took all of 20 minutes to cook dinner and wow......

First I put the macaroni pot with water on the stove to boil for the orzo, while it was heating, the steaks were rubbed with a nice dry rub, and I chopped shallots & garlic measured out peas, light cream, grated cheese, and diced tomatoes(drained).

I made the orzo and was gifted with the most fabulous.....

It was lovingly grilled just for my dining pleasure......goodness I am one blessed woman........

A couple of months ago, I burned myself really bad with the lid from a cast iron pot.  The pots are heavy indeed, but I have the hardest time with the lids.  It just seems that I get all discombobulated with this hot lid and I don't know what to do with it, needless to say I have been burned on more than one occasion, but this time it was really bad, I burned my chest.  The lid slipped and I don't know, next thing it hurts like bloody hell, and I got blistered.  I vowed that it wasn't going to happen again.  I just found this wonderful lid holder, and yes it is wonderful, the best, the bomb, I am loving it.  I am not loving the $30.00 I spent, but I don't care, today while I making dinner the lid for the cast iron pan was safely on the holder and not burning me. 
I actually used it twice today.  Happy, happy, joy, joy...... Life is good, very good indeed

Monday, March 16, 2015

smells & touchstones

When I look at a cast iron pan, even if it is brand new in the box in the store, I go back home all the  way.  I come from a long line, ok two that I know of, women that fed their family from cast iron.  The pans' were black. shiny, and contained some of the most fabulous flavors a person could ever want.  They made magic from those pans, Mom made us pork chops and Mor made us danish pancakes.  My Dad did my Mom a favor by cleaning her pan for her, he took his grinder and cleaned her pan, I thought she was going to kill him, no really, she wanted to kibosh him over the head with her formerly most wonderfully seasoned pan.  I never realized how lucky we were until I was older and found that some kids never got hamburgers with fried onions from a deliciously seasoned pan, oh the inhumanity...

Cast iron is still a major player in our house and some of the most fabulous food comes from them.  Unlike my Dad and Far, my husband has his own pan.  His pan if seasoned wonderfully and he enjoys bringing forth some really great dishes.  Andrew and my Mom collaborated on a delicious steak with onions dinner for us rounded out with a wonderful salad.

Oh happy day.....

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


I have been perusing the net hoping that I could convince Andrew into a new larger wok instead of using one that we already have.   I would like to keep using the Lodge cast iron for curry dishes, and I would want the larger one for stir fry.  Well it did not take much, actually none at all, he was all in.  Andrew did not want to order one online, he found a large carbon steel wok at the market.  He cleaned it, baked it, seasoned it, then seasoned it again.  Then I used it.

We made another shrimp stir fry everything fit and it tasted pretty darn good.  Still a group effort though.

 My Mom, Dad, and Glenette joined us for dinner.

I have made the decision about my good cast iron woks, instead of worrying about marring the enamel finish on the outside of the pan with the very high heat from the burners, I am going to sell them.  I know that I will still saving things for good, I am making a step in the right direction.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Wok & Shovel

The wok has been getting a major workout, Thai cuisine has been on the menu, curry dishes galore.  There is just something so comforting about the curry and coconut milk that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.  Our favorite hands down is Masaman Curry.  Oh, the potatoes are heaven, bite into them, shear bliss.  Throw in shrimp, and all is right and good.  I also have to extend a mighty thank you to the inventor of the rice maker, perfect rice, every time, all the time.....

Then we began our next escapade.....Stir Fry.  Pad Thai has taken a back seat to trying to get a handle on stir fry.  Back to back meals have helped in this latest endeavor.  It has even been suggested that I use the other wok.  It seems that the coconut milk strips away the seasoning from the wok much more easily that the stir fry, so maybe since I have another, maybe I should use one for curry and the other for stir fry.

Shrimp has been featured on the protein this last past week and I am very happy for it.  I could do a great Forrest Gump imitation now that we have immersed ourselves in them. 

Sunday's stir fry included lots of greens, mushrooms, garlic. and shrimp.  We had noodles with the second of the two stir fries.  I cannot take all the credit for a wonderful meal because it took lots of help, one with the preparation, and the other with taking the photos. 

It needed nothing.....just us to sit down and enjoy.......maybe water chestnuts and baby corn.

Monday, March 2, 2015

dancing in the kitchen

I braved my toes then threw caution to the wind and asked him to dance.  It was wonderful, I said just let yourself feel the music because you can't force it.  It has to just feel natural and where you want to be, made the choice, and be happy with it.

Breakfast in Daytona was always a wonderful affair, the Osteen Diner served up a most wonderful eggs and grits that would keep you full until it was time to eat dinner.  Does this mean on this "staycation"  breakfast everyday?  I hope that I did not set a precedent by making Danish Pancakes, oh they are delicious, for brunch.  When I think about Mor making the pancakes in her cast iron pan, I just can't believe how strong she was to be able to put the batter in the pan and roll in around.  My pan is stainless with teflon, I am a whimp.  But I make a mean pancake....

Goodness I miss Mor.

Andrew and I indulged in PBS yesterday, we watched all the cooking shows.  One of my all time favorite shows is "American Test Kitchen".  It is no wonder that it is my most favorite monthly.  I enjoy everything about the show and the magazine.  They are always so full of info and tips, that I usually put into practice.

We then watched Lydia, and tonight for dinner I made a spin on what she made, Garlic Risotto.  I added shrimp and peas.  It got some rave reviews, yeah woo hoo..... two of the staycation....