Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Aftermath

Our perfect (for us) little miss left on a plane with her parents and headed to her life on the other coast.  The visit was wonderful, too fast and a teensy bit chaotic. Now we are left with an insanely quiet house, toy remnants, laundry and lonely hearts. I love this child to pieces and am not sure if the best part of the visit was the huge running hug when she saw me for the first time, or the giant goodbye hug when she told me she did not want to leave Alabama. I miss her fiercely already!
Only 93 days until we see her again.

(So glad we are having a wedding in November and so happy she wants to be the flower girl. This is her trying on her "wedding dress", which according to her is more beautiful than her Elsa dress. I am not sure higher praise is possible.)

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

My Happy Place

The most beautiful girl (or goyil, as she pronounces it) in my wold will be here at 9 tonight. Along with her, her dad (Son1) and mom (DIL1) will be here. Also coming for the week are Son3 and GF 3. With Son2 and (soon to be) DIL2 in town the entire clan will be together at one time for the first time ever! I am beyond excited and plan to spend the week doing whatever comes along. Obviously I will not be posting anything and most likely will not be reading your blogs. It is certainly not personal but I want to soak up every moment of Piper time I possibly can.

Y'all have a great and wonderful week and I will be back A week from Wednesday, tired, with a dirty house and a huge grin on my face.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Thursday, Friday, Saturday and All That Jazz

Well folks, another week with nothing. I have been at the hospital with Mom for the past few days and things like blogging become unessential.  Now that she is out of the woods comes the real battle. She is being released this afternoon and is restricted to a walker for at least a week so she  needs "a helper".  (Notice how carefully I avoided the word sitter) She hates having anyone but us in her house, so My Beloved Sister and I are prepared for the war she is about to wage. Detente, doubtful but fingers are crossed.

Monday, July 30, 2018

What's Age Got to Do with It? Everything!

Recently I found 2 birthday cards that were perfect for the intended birthday gal and guy. I bought them well in advance and put them in a very special and protected place. Then I showed TheHub where I had put them, just in case I forgot about the hiding place.

I have been looking for these stupid cards since my friend's birthday in early July. The ironic thing was her card was about getting older and memory loss. Yep, karma is indeed a bitch.

Tomorrow is Son2's birthday and his most perfect card had still not turned up, so I called in the heavy artillery, TheHub, and had to "fess" up that I could not remember where I had hidden them. Sadly neither could he and after about an hours hunt they are still hidden. I can only think one thing __ we have some invisible, evil imps living in our house who move and re-hide our hidden things. Yes, that has to be it. There is no way we are old enough to be forgetting things. Our minds are tarp as a shack!

p.s. My kitchen cabinets and drawers are cleaned now. Strange side effect of looking for the blasted cards.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Dropping the Ball

Today is supposed to be Friday and all that Jazz, but I am headed to the lake. Rather than creating a post I am cleaning the kitchen and vacuuming the den, then packing up and heading out! Call me a slacker but the day is beautiful and the lake place is calling my name!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Lame Excuse for Friday and All That Jazz

I am slacking dreadfully on the Friday Jazz post and once again had not thought of it until today. Since I did not have anyone lined up for this week and have been thinking about the recipes I made this week I thought, why not stay in New Orleans just one more week.

I had several boneless, skinless chicken thighs in the fridge that had to be cooked immediately. I did not mind cooking a few of them for some quick and easy  chicken salad or a chicken and rice meal, but I needed to do something to a few of them other than a traditional poach, because I am trying to maintain my keto way of eating without having the same thing over and over.

New Orleans is a remarkable food city, with everything from traditional French cuisine to street hotdogs. For tonight's dinner I found 3 or 4 recipes, took bits and pieces from each one and came up with this fusion of the three. Improvisation like edible jazz maybe?

Cajun Chicken in Cream Sauce? (Feel free to rename it)

2 boneless  skinless chicken thighs cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon cajun seasoning (I use Badia's. It's cheap and it tastes fine)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 orange sweet pepper, cut into thin strips
1 red sweet pepper, cut into thin strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
3 ribs celery thinly sliced (half moon slices)
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms ( I had these sliced and forgot to put them in)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 more tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
pinch of cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon paprika, smoked or regular
salt to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon)
1 1/2 cup cream (I use heavy cream)
1/4 to 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 servings of pasta (your choice) cooked and drained

I know this looks like a lot of ingredients but if you really look at the recipe a lot of it is just herbs and spices.

Sprinkle the cajun seasoning over the chicken pieces, heat the oil in a large saute pan and cook the chicken about halfway through. Remove from the pan add the other 2 tablespoons olive oil, throw in all the veggies except the garlic and cook until they are almost done. Add the garlic and stir it around for about a minute. Add the chicken back into the pan and add the remaining seasonings then add the cream. Cook until it is reduced by about half, add the parmesan cheese and stir until it is melted. Stir again and serve over cooked pasta.

I had mine over zucchini spirals so the picture is of TheHub's meal. I had about a quarter of a box of penne pasta so that is what I used. If you make this use whatever is left at your house, because it will work perfectly well over just about everything except tiny pastas.

This is delicious! Son2 and GF2 came to the house and they fixed the leftovers and love it too. This made enough for 3 ample servings, or 4 slightly smaller servings. They had both eaten a late lunch and were not terribly hungry but they ate all they wanted and I still had enough left over for lunch along with a substantial green salad. Win! Delicious win!

                               And for your Jazz moment enjoy a little Pete Fountain medley

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A Party in the Mouth

OK, y'all.

Say you fancy a little treat and after the roux-less gumbo recipe you (I)  might be thinking a New Orleans type of treat. What could possibly be more gratifying than whipping up a small batch of beignets that you don't have to share with anyone. Dessert for one? Mid-morning snack? Late night munchies? This are really easy to make but it does require an hour resting/rising time. You are two bowls and a fork type of prep, a quick swim in some hot oil  and a confectioner's sugar shower from your mouth. Easy peasy!

Beignets for One (or two if you are feeling generous)

1 tablespoons warm water (105°ish)
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 pinch sugar
1 teaspoon vegetable shortening
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons milk
1/2 large egg white (separate the egg, whisk the white a little then just eyeball half of it)
1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoon  boiling water
1/2  cup plus 2 tablespoons flour (you will need a little extra when you roll the dough))
1 cups oil for frying  (I used about a cup of coconut oil in a smallish deep sauce pot)
powdered sugar ? depends on your sugar habit.

Put the warm water in a small bowl and immediately add the yeast and a pinch of sugar. Stir well and let it sit. Make sure it is foamy (indicates the yeast is active)

In another bowl mix the shortening, sugar, milk and egg white. Stir well to combine and add the boiling water and stir like crazy. When the temperature of the mixture  is about 105 degrees add the yeast to it. Combine well , cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in a  warmish place for about an hour.
Grab your trusty culling board if you are simple like me, or a pastry cloth if you are a fancy Nancy , flour it, and roll the dough out about 1/4 inch thick. I use a pizza cutter to cut it into squareish pieces.2x2 (ish) because I wanted lots of pieces.

Heat the oil in a small sauce pot, to about 350. I do not ever check the temp, I just put a small tidbit of dough in the oil and if it puffs immediately it is ready. If not, I wait a minute then try again. Take the cut pieces and gently place them in the oil . Fry a few pieces at a time. They cook quickly so stand there with them. As soon as they puff and turn brown on one side, flip them over and cook the other side. They are done in a little less than a minute. Drain on a paper towel.

You have two options for the powdered sugar. You can roll them in powdered sugar like I did or put some a sieve and sprinkle/sift it over the tops.

Now comes the truth time. I am still doing Keto so I did not have even a taste. I really tried this just to see if I could do it. Son2 was here and I got him to be my guinea pig. He is not eating sugar much at all so he only ate one, but gave them a big thumbs up. He has eaten them many times at Cafe Du Monde in new Orleans, and said the only thing missing was cafe au lait made with chicory coffee.

So go ahead and throw a little indulgence on! Life is uncertain after all!

                                 Here is a little tune by Clifton Chenier for your enjoyment!