Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Post Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving leftovers
Kid made himself pesto orecchiette, I said add Turkey.

Monday after Thanksgiving
Cod topped with spices, baked at 450 for ten minutes
Oven potato fries


Kraft Mac N Cheese with a vegetable and apple slices
Yam with sausage?  Beans?
still have turkey to use.
make more rolls or not?
pigs in blanket for after school snack
I  have all the fixings for lasagna....

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Links for reference

italian food

sweet chili sauce recipe



LInen Roman Shade at Country Curtains
comes in a 34" width, which would be great for front exterior
gable end windows are 44 wide each.

Pottery Barn Roman Shades
comes in 36" width, which would extend 3" beyond the woodwork.
Again, 64" long.  Not sure shortening is an option.
On sale.  Plain duck cotton, white or off-white.


lime, three js,
all in mdn games


double buffer
and squares power of 2 sides
SDL context  Simple Direct Media Layer

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Wish List 2016

15 and 20 lb weights

gift cards?  To Claires or Gamestop
Steven Universe merchandise
Comfy size L Sweatpants from Gamespot pikachu or bulbasaur preferred
Water bottle
Wool tights

salt cellar (ala Alton Brown)
makeup bag, width of sandwich bag
new radio/headphone jack speakers for kitchen
Mary Oliver Poems that you love too.  Singly or a published book.
cloth shopping bag from out-of-state independent grocery store.

over the garden wall
steven universe
carrot stuff
Pokemon Sun or Moon game
donate lotsa money to Within The Wires to get Episode Zero
American Eagle Gift Cards
pretzel M&Ms
Voltron Legendary Defenders merchandise (does it exist?)
 Calligraphy set

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Thanksgiving Prep 2016


Pigs in a blanket--prepared between pies and turkey
Habanero cream cheese dip--skipped
Raspberry Jello

Turkey--10 lbs, spatchcocked.  Delicious!
Wild Sockeye Salmon, FOS.  One pound would have been enough (did two)
(Steelhead Trout not available--cook on parchment, not on silpat)

Mashed Potatoes (new recipe, pressure cooked in garlic and vegetarian broth)
Vegetarian Gravy
Turkey Gravy (Skipped--no drippings to work with)
Cornbread Stuffing (one Fanny Farmer bread recipe)
Cranberry Sauce (one package of cranberries, 3/4 cup sugar)
Rolls (were amazing)  24 whole wheat with maple syrup
Yams with Marshmallows (4 small organic yams.  Only a small amount left to send as leftovers)
Brussel Sprouts--skipped.  No green vegetable

Pumpkin Pie, made in the morning
Apple Pie added that morning.
Whipped Cream

Plan: when for each dish, oven schedule, serving dishes, serving spoons.

Saturday, October 29, 2016


Oh my gosh I do not want to cook anymore.  I do not want to cook anymore ever again.  Especially because I would like to cook mushroom soup, with some lentils, a little carrot and celery, and some green like a kale or mature spinach...and no one would like that.  Probably, possibly, not even me!

Friday, October 28, 2016

October second half

lunch: hamburger on a bagel bun

dinner: Benson burritos

dinner: cheese and uncured bacon ravioli with a side of spaghetti squash

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Movies I want to see

Arrival, starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner
Nov. 11

Batman Return of the Caped Crusader (animated)

Netflix: Gilmore Girls Sequel

Osirus Child, an entertaining old style space opera  No distribution yet.

read: girl with all the gifts by Carey

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Monday, September 12, 2016

September Family Dinners

Back to school time!

Oriecchiette with roasted eggplant and summer squash (from the garden) and a little garden kale, with sauteed chicken on the side or black beans on the side.  Mozzarella melted on top, so I could peel the cheese back and avoid it.  We ate leftovers as dinner the following two days.

I made a rectangular wheat crust pizza on the Silpat, pepperoni on once side, sauteed mushrooms on the other.

We tried Archie's Grill.  Everyone liked it, but not as much as I did, yum.  We all overate and were uncomfortable.

Annual Spatzle in vegetarian gravy.  Served with slice of nitrate-free turkey from deli, as if ramen.  I served the worse green salad in the world as a side.

Spaghetti Squash with kale and onion in marinara sauce
Ground hamburger and black beans served on side as protein condiment
cheddar cheese biscuits

Greek Chicken
Roasted Cauliflower

Went to mall to look at watches, got back too late to make dinner.  Told everyone to make PB&J with the whole wheat bread I picked up at the bakery, and headed out on more errands.

Sunday, September 11, 2016


For my daughter's birthday, I'm republishing this old post on the Spaetzle we're making tonight.


Fifteen years ago, my neighbor, who was a great cook, invited me over for dinner. She had made homemade spätzle with a spätzle maker she'd found in a yard sale during a visit to her home state. The maker looked like a cheese grater with a shuttle across the top of it. I was delighted when she demonstrated it: the dough drops through the holes as the shuttle scrapes over them, dropping drippings of spatzle dough right into the boiling water. How clever; how sensible!

Spätzle fascinates me. I classify it as a homemade pasta or egg noodle, and I love that there's no running the dough through a pasta maker several times to make it smooth, and no figuring out where to hang the pasta to dry. But there's still enough effort involved that it feels like a homemade food project, a bit of an adventure, a bit celebratory.

I've been wanting to make spätzle for years since, so on my recent trip to Austria I purchased a spätzle maker of my own. It has a curved surface with holes, and a rubber scraper for pushing the dough over them. It's wide enough to rest over any of my boiling water pots. I understand you can substitute a large-holed colander for a spatzle maker, but I've never tried.

The recipe I used: 500 g flour, 6 eggs, 150ml water, teaspoon of salt. I let my stand mixer do the work.

  • 500 g flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 150ml water ( 1 2/3 cup water)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

I brought a potful of water to boil, adding salt and oil.

I put a big scoop of dough on the spätzle maker. I could tell the consistency was right because it drooped through the holes but didn't fall or run out. I scraped back and forth which forced the dough out. The spätzle that floated was done; I pulled it out with my mesh kitchen sieve.

Now, what to serve with it? Spätzle is a German food I associate with chunks of meat and gravy. Yet like egg noodles, it's good with butter and a little salt. I made a simple mushroom cream sauce by sautéing chopped onion and finely diced mushroom (used food processor to chop) and then adding some cream and cooking it a bit more. Add a side salad, and we had a delicious dinner tonight.

Friday, July 8, 2016

fajitas dinner

I had leftover rice, potatoes.
I made scarlet runner beans that morning.

It was hot, so I didn't want to do oven fajitas.
2.25 lbs of chicken thigh meat, cut up.
heat oil in skillet, add
1TB good chili powder,
1teas paprika
a little garlic powder.
Put meat in, added salt.
cooked the heck out of it, since I felt like the meat was starting to turn.
lemon zest and some squeezed lemon, because I had it.
lots of spice-colored greasy juice in this one.  It was a hit.

Prepared beans with same spices; not as successful.

sauteed most of a large red onion and a large red pepper in another skillet for fajita veggies.

grated cheddar.

tore up a head of iceberg lettuce

The kid who wasn't feeling like mexican food put chicken on rice.

The woman who is dieting put a bed of lettuce on her plate and topped it with onion, pepper, and a little chicken, and some oil-and-vinegar dressing.  But she got hungry at 10 and had a half a PB&J for dessert and then popcorn.  So next time, more chicken for her.

One made two bean burritos with potato inside, and then still couldn't sleep four hours later because so overstuffed.

Teen age boy ate the one serving of leftover meat rather than bother putting it away in the fridge for tomorrow.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Garden Sun Notes

First week in July
6:00 front veggie garden in shade
6:45 south half of front veggie garden in sun
7:15 all of front veggie garden in sun;
     --nb: stake shade is 2.5x its height, adding a 3-ft eastern hedge would shadow all the garden!!
7:15 all of back garden in shade
7:45 southern half of back garden (lawn side) is in sun
8:30 back garden in full sun except for tomato plant closest to gate.
9:05 still: back garden in full sun except for tomato plant closest to gate.
10:00 all the back veggie garden in sun, including tomato plant closest to fence.

1 pm full sun everwhere
2:40 front yard: the lilac is making a shadow into the front garden, but the roofline shadow hasn't reached it yet.
2:40 back yard: back 2/3 of veggie garden in shade; front half of garden along fenceline are getting sun; grassline along "triangle" has sun for those plants.  Tomato addition along fence to gate in full sun.
3:30 roofline shadow at border of front garden.
3:30 backyard tomato area along fence in full sun;
        some dappled sun on corner of main backard garden

Sunday, June 19, 2016

What to make when you're feeling sick

Vermont spring comes late but then unrolls four times as fast as anywhere else, like we're watching capture-motion photography.  I didn't have the usual allergies and thought maybe the mild winter had kept the pollens down.  Then, a few days after school got out, the allergies hit hard probably followed closely by an opportunistic cold.

I was really shocked this year--I was weak, tired, achy.  My throat was pain.  It's a tribute to my privilege of health that I'm so unfamiliar with feeling physically unwell.  Also, it was just bad.

We ordered pizza twice.

Fortunately (?) my daughter succumbed before me, and I made a big pot of chicken noodle soup for her.  The next day when I was sick, the leftovers tasted like heaven.  I had no idea.  We had Ritz crackers in the house, which was very good.

Ramen: kid made ramen for lunch a couple times.  So I'm glad I had that on hand for her.

I lost all interest in eating salads.

When I started to feel better, I made rice in the cooker and baked a turkey breast that I had defrosted the day before.

When I was well enough to go to the store, I bought deli salsa (uncooked; my favorite) and it tasted AMAZING after days without vegetables.

Also relatively easy: pumpkin pie using canned ingredients and a store-bought graham cracker crust.

NYT Berry Buckle, made two with doubled recipe.  The hot cooked berries are heaven.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

V8 Gazpacho

This one needs a food processor.  Mine is broken, so I'm going to try it in the Blendtec, though it will no longer be chunky.

Into the food processor:
2 cloves garlic
4 tsp parsley
2 tsp chives
2 stalks celery (cut into chunks)
1 red bell pepper (seeded and cut)
1 cucumber (peel, seed, chunked)
2 tomatoes (peeled and seeded)

pulse after each addition, or if you're me, just do it all at the end. Don't let it get too fine.

Transfer to a large bowl and add:
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire
1/4 tsp sriracha, which I prefer to tabasco
1/4 cup olive oil
2 TB red wine vinegar
2 TB lemon juice
4 cups vegetabel juice (V-8)

Serve. Gazpacho is a dish best served cold, or at room temp. 

Yeah, I know it's a soup that's half V-8, but I love it, though I don't love V-8.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Keep track of the Garden

the violets flower
the daylily greens grow
task: order compost to be delivered second week of May

the violets continue to flower until midMay
the irises begin to flower the last week of May
the daylily continues to green
the lilac is in full bloom
30 May, the bush next to the shed finishes its white blooms.
the lilacs blossoms are turning brown.
task: weed the front and side yard
task: weed the woodland garden (along backyard fence to F&J property)

task: once the lilac stops blooming, trim it back

Late Summer/Fall
task: divide Irises

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Roasted Cauliflower (with what? Can't remember)

Lasagna of roasted eggplant, zucchini, and kale.  Should have chopped the vegetables into small pieces or even pureed them.

Taco salad: hamburger version and bean version.  One person was sad I put cucumber in it.

fajitas of sliced beef or beans with onion/bell pepper.  Guacamole was ignored.

Vegetable hot and sour soup with tofu: Budget Bytes

Slow Cook Pork Loin

Leftover Pork Loin-red cabbage sandwiches

Bulgogi, mapu tofu, rice, stir-fried frozen asian vegetable mix

Shrimp fajitas: tortilla, rice, onion/bell pepper, shrimp sauteed with chili and salt.

Side dish:
Budgetbytes thai cucumber salad
Didn't have the green onions, so I left onion out.
Didn't have peanuts, so I put in some natural peanut butter

Cauliflower Soup and Spinach Salad.
Pioneer Woman's Spinach Warm Bacon Salad with sauteed mushrooms and red onion
Martha Stewart's Spinach, Mushroom and Red Onion Salad (vegetarian)
Cauliflower Soup: Put 4 cups leftover roasted cauliflower in Blendtec with two cups of water and heaping scoop of Better than Bouillon.  Came out so creamy, I'm never going to use the immersion blender on soup again!

Pioneer Woman: Quick and Easy Apple Tart uses packaged pastry dough

Monday, May 23, 2016

rototiller rental


Saturday, April 23, 2016

April Second Half

Oven diced potatoes, cheese sauce, and broccoli
Salmon with maple glaze
Lentil Sloppy Joes
Oven Roasted Eggplant as a side

snacking on: corn tortilla/pepper jack cheese quesadillas

Sunday, April 17, 2016

discussion of replacing bedroom windows for egress


I am interested in buying a ranch house built in 1955.  I have been told that the bedroom windows won't meet the fire code.  Will this prevent me from buying the house, and what can I do about it? 

The bedroom windows probably do not meet modern “egress” requirements.  Living space rooms require an adequate direct means of escape to the exterior in the case of fire.  A fire that occurs outside a bedroom could prevent escape unless a direct exit from the room exists.  Any room with a door that exits directly to the exterior would of course be acceptable.  If the direct means of escape is a window, there are minimum requirements to ensure that a person really could get out in an emergency.  Some older ranch style homes have bedroom windows that are too small and too high off the floor to satisfy modern codes.  Basically, the opening must be no more than 44 inches off the floor, the minimum opening size must be no less than five square feet, the minimum height of the opening must be 24 inches, and the minimum width must be 20 inches. 

Codes apply and are generally enforced when a house is being built, or if major remodeling is being done.  It is unlikely that anyone is going to require that an older house meet modern “egress” requirements as a part of the sale.  However, it is important that an adequate means of escape is available if you are going to live safely in the house.  It is relatively easy to replace a window with one of the same width but taller.  Window manufacturers have windows designed to meet “egress” requirements that might fit in the existing opening if the sill height is lowered.  Ensuring adequate escape routes is important in every home. 

And this unrelated discussion of ranch architecture in Roanoake

Friday, April 8, 2016


Cooking in April is hard.

I made Shrimp Fra Diavolo, and that was delicious.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Tomato Soup with some Kale pureed in.  That was a hit.  But the second time I put too much kale in, which was like too fiber-y.

Pollock Fish Tacos.  It was local Pollock.  W. was sad I didn't provide the radishes or make the white sauce with it.  J worked late and didn't get any, and he's the best audience for this one.

For a birthday breakfast, I made bacon, homemade cornmeal pancakes, poached egg.

For a birthday dinner, I roasted a chicken and made baingan bharta, simply recipe's dal, a new black bean dal, and another vegetable dish.

leftovers of the above dinner for a couple days.

we were sick: I made chicken tortilla soup and a Tom Yum soup with shrimp.

herbed roasted potato bites, broccoli, cheese sauce.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Lasagna Layers for a no-ricotta lasagna

half the veggies
sun dried tomato
half the veggies

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken Pot Pie
Not healthy, Not Vegetarian, Not Quick.
Heavy on the biscuit, Comfort Food.
Kid Favorite

Make Ahead Note: I usually make the meat and gravy one day (or use leftovers), the vegetables another day, and do the biscuits and assemble on a third day.  Especially as I might be serving a choice of chicken or lentil pot pie.

Meat (you can use leftover cooked chicken instead)
vegetable oil--not olive as you are sort of frying chicken.
spices--I like a Herbes De Provence mix.  Poultry Seasoning, or your favorite thyme/oregano/basil
8 chicken thighs, raw, cut into bite-sized pieces

2TB butter
2TB flour
4 cups chicken broth (I use Better than Boullion)

1 Onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
4 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 pound mushrooms washed and sliced
1 parsnip or 1 fennel bulb, for interest

I used a store brand biscuit mix: 4 cups mix, 6 TB butter, 1 1/3 cup milk.  Mostly because it calls for melted butter and I felt too lazy to cut butter into flour without my food processor.

Cook Meat.
1. Heat oil in skillet and saute dried herbs for 30 seconds.
2. Add chicken and saute 5-8 minutes until cooked.
3. remove meat to large mixing bowl.

Prepare Gravy
4. heat chicken broth in microwave
5. In same skillet used for meat, melt butter.
6. whisk in flour, cook a minute or two while whisking.
7. whisk in hot broth, adding gradually.
8. let simmer 10 minutes.

Cook vegetables in LARGE skillet. (I used two large skillets)
9. Heat oil, saute dried herbs
10. saute vegetables.

Preheat Oven 450F
Assemble in 9x13 glass pan.
11. Mix vegetables and chicken together in glass pan.
12. Pour half the gravy over mix.
13. Bake for first 15 minutes while preparing biscuits--if the filling is piping hot, it helps cook the biscuits from below in later steps.

14. Mix biscuit dough according to package directions, not bothering to knead.
15. Take hot casserole out of oven
16. Drop spoonfuls of biscuit dough onto chicken/vegetable mix, it will be mostly covered.
17 Back in oven another 15 minutes or until biscuits are done.

Serve with reserved gravy.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

blueberry muffin

Best, easiest blueberry muffins with sensible ingredients
Go here for full directions

Makes 1 dozen regular-sized and 1 dozen mini muffins

3 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 cup  granulated sugar, plus a couple TBs for sugar topping
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 TB + 1 teas baking powder
2/3 cup veg oil
2 large egg
1/3 – 1/2 milk to make 2 cups liquid
1 TB vanilla extract--frankly I've been skipping this
2 cup frozen blueberries

400 F for 15-20 minutes

Friday, January 1, 2016

Samosa Pancake

One recipe Jane Brody multigrain pancake.
Samosa filling inspired by maayeka.

olive oil
one onion diced
curry powder
ancho chili powder
one cup broth (Better than Bouillon vegetarian as usual)
One small cauliflower chopped
two cooked potato (in this case, eighths that were boiled)
some cheddar
3 cups leftover NYT lentil soup
chopped cilantro to garnish

saute onion in spices
add cauliflower saute
add broth and cover; cook to soften
add potatoes and lentil soup; warm through
knock a bunch of cheddar cubes in, more or less by accident.
Keep warm while finishing pancakes.

To serve: put a pancake on a plate, top with samosa filling, and garnish with cilantro.