Sunday, March 3, 2013

Small Kitchen Stories: Meatballs and Lentils

  The first twinges of Spring make their selves known to me when I hear whispers: It is now OK to empty out the Winter Emergency Pantry Supplies.
  Thus it was time to do something with the box of lentil soup and the vacuum packed chicken meatballs.

Lentil Stew with Chicken Meatballs

Chicken Meatballs, pre cooked.  Mine were caramalized onion and delicious.
Lentil Soup Box.  Mine was "organic" and compellingly good.
Cauliflower or any veggy needing to be cooked rather than trashed.

Ok, it is another Rice Pot dinner.  Into the Rice Cooker add in some olive oil ( forgot to add to the list above; so you get the idea this is a lazy cooking effort ) and heat up to sizzling.  Then add in the mushrooms and the veggys.  Saute a bit.  Add in the Lentil Soup and the Meatballs.  Throw in some wine and a dab or two of the mustard.  Put on the top and let it simmer for 25 minutes or so.

Dessert: sliced blood oranges topped with rice pudding!

Ta Da!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Small Kitchen Stories: Meyer Lemon Compote

  I love it when the Giant surprises me with a little something special as it makes up for all those sad times when my favorite items have been pulled...... for good.
  Did you hear me squeal when I picked up a net-bag of Meyer Lemons?  All the produce staff did!
  This was the very first time I ever bought this Lemon, now made famous by Martha Stewart.  As I drove home I contemplated what this would become.  Winter is when I crave a deeply complex fruity compote.  A compote it would be.
  The Meyer Lemon is a cross of a lemon and a clementine, and thus the flavor goes more tropical than Mediterranean.

Meyer Lemon and Banana Compote

Meyer Lemons, 4, peeled, seeded and cut into small chunks.
Peel from one lemon, cut into tiny-tiny pieces.
Raisins: soaked in white wine or Orange Juice
Bananas, 2, cut into chunks
White Wine and/or Orange Juice
Cardamom seeds from two or three pods.

    In a nice deep heavy pot combine all of the above, except for the honey and liquids.  Add enough liquid to cover the fruit.  Add honey to taste.  You might need more than you imagine.  Simmer until all fruits are soft and plump.  Remove from the heat and cool.
    Use to top rice pudding, yogurt, cottage cheese, pound cake!

Ta Da!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lewes and my Teapot Emergency

I am told that once a upon a time Lewes had it's own place to go and enjoy a pot of tea with tea-time refreshments.  Lewes with it's Victorian homes just cries out for taking tea or other stronger libations on these wrap-around porches.  Thus it seemed so perfect that my teapot emergemcy happened here, in Lewes.
  I prepared my morning tea in my 20 year old beloved Brown Betty pot.  She is just the right size for myself.  I always lovingy warmed her up before putting in my special hand blended ( by me ) tea and the boiling water.  In fact I look forward to the morning tea almost as soon as dinner the night before ends!
  I picked up the handle and I did hear the softest "whimper".  I set her down.  I picked her up again, and she was gone.  The handle broke off and left a sad  and mysterious looking hole.
  Although I have about a  dozen tea pots almost all are in storage and as well are too big for a small serrvice.
  The urgency to find my new teapot before the sunset was profound and could not be resisted!
 I determined I would only spend $12.00!
  Off to two thrift stores I went.  I did find a sweet Brit  teapot but marked at $25.00.  But  a lower price was not to be.  A new life, a better teapot was out there for me.
  Two stores later, four in all explored, there she was.  Sweetly decorated with Dogwood Blossoms, with a traditional Ming Dynasty form.
  Yes, she was $12.00!
 Relating this story to a dear friend who knows my lifetime tea-obssesion observed the above story is my perfect metaphor.  I am letting go of the old with great love and affection and seeking the new adored sustance and format for the future.
  Lewes, just ask me and we will do tea-time; anytime.

Beach Blessings,

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Small Kitchen Stories: Eggless- Rice Pudding with Ricotta Cheese

  This afternoon I was gifted with a small micro-waveable bowl of pre-cooked brown rice and a packet of dark raisins.
  My weekly shopping at Llyods always includes a small tub of rice pudding.  Ah, it was  time to make my own.
  This recipe is a re-do of a previously posted one.  But this time I use the above prepared rice and my beloved rice cooker.
  I was in shock as to how quickly the pudding came together to make it's plumpy texture..... and this time the recipe is egg-less.

In the Rice Cooker:

Simmer the raisins, milk, and a lump of butter.  Add in the microwaved brown rice.  Add in a handful of walnuts.  Add in a sprinkle of cinnamon.  Let simmer until the proper plumpy texture forms.  Add in a dose of sherry or some suhch libation.  Now turn off the heat and fold in a BIG ladle of ricotta cheese.  Pour into a lovely ceramic dish and cover with plastic wrap to cool.

Berries a top or a dried fruit compote would be lovely.

Beach Blessings,

Friday, December 14, 2012

Small Kitchen Stories: Cranberries and Pomegranate!

 This is a Tale of East Meets West.
  I was gifted a lovely Pomgranate and spent the required 20 minutes preparing it.  There was ony enough for one dessert bowl.  I needed enough for two!
  In the fridge I had some leftover homemade whole cranberry sauce.  Would it work to combine the too?
  This was a meeting of Middle East meets North East!  Or West Coast meets East Coast Bogs!  I contemplated the flavors before combining.  Compatible they would be.  But would the textures work?
  Combine I did!  Then I used it as a topping on sliced bananas.  Then just to make it even crazier East meets West I dolloped around the edges a ring of Eggnog!
  A truly lovely holiday dessert....... healthy too!

Ta DA!

Beach Blessings,  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Small Kitchen Stories: Scallop Pot

  Yet again I am beyond hungry, beyond tired, but needing a soul-warming dinner requiring me not to think or work.
  At the last Farmers Market Saturday I purchased scallops which I divided into small freezer destined portions.  The small pouches thaw out in a flash.
  Rice Pot to the rescue!

Lewes Farmer's Market Scallop Pot

Golden Potatoes: small cubes
Carrots: small coins
Tomatoes: chopped
Onions: sliced
Dillweed, Chives
Olive Oil

Into the Rice Pot add a  big tablespoon of olive oil and heat to sizzling.  Throw in the potatoes, carrots and onions.  Stir, put on the top and let it rip until golden brown.
Throw in the tomatoes, and herbs, and let it cook down a bit.
Add in the scallops and a dousing of the Vermuth.  Put on the cover and cook about 5-8 minutes more or until the scallops are perfectly done.

Dessert was sliced pears with a big serving of rice pudding.

Ta DA!

Beach Blessings,

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A New Beach Life, A New Washing Machine

  I admit that I am fixated on washing machines, dryers, irons, and ironing boards.  As a child I loved spending time in the laundry room.  The woosh of the steam iron and the whiffs of heated cotton and linen as accompaniment to the background of the "white noise" of the swishing-washing machine and the tumble of the dryer; calmed me.
  As an adult I've always had a laundry or mud room; and it has always been my first task of the day.  If nothing else is accomplished, at least I have clean laundry!
  When I looked at my Lewes home; my real estate agent warned me: it has no laundry room.  Ah, ha.  The screened in porch was transformed into my mud-room, set up with a laundry board and drying racks.  As well as comfy furniture to disguise the room's true function.
 When thankfully the old washing machine died; I seized the moment.  I found a sophisticated Mom and Pop appliance store, and picked out my new washer and dryer; "with only knobs and dials, please".
  Once installed and used my heart was filled with happiness and hope!
  I then realized that my life which seems to play out in distinct cycles is marked by "The New Washing Machine and Dryer".  Marriage.  My baby boy, and moving into a new built home!  Moving into my beach cottage!
  This new washing machine with it's "sensing cycle" and it's locked child-proof lid reverses the sequence of those comforting sounds.  It spins before adding the water!  My senses are trying to adjust.  My heart beats faster just waiting for the filled tub whooshing away.
  A new way to wash?  Anew life ahead.

Beach Blessings,