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Side dish

Side dish

Shooked Potatoes

I’m all shook up!

Remember these these famous lines of Elvis’ song “I’m All Shook Up”

♫I’m in love

I’m all shook up

Mm mm mm mm, ya, ya, ya,♫

Well, you will be going mmm, mmm, after eating these potatoes; and they are all shooked up.

My mother use to make two types of potatoes that we really liked as kids. One was these “shooked” potatoes and the other potato recipe (no recipe at all) was called “stewed” potatoes.

Let me tell you about the Stewed Potatoes first. First, you have to be making some home made cornbread in order to make these potatoes (no boxed, sweet cornbread either). So, my mother would have some peeled, quartered potatoes cooking in water. She would have her cornbread ready to go in the oven and before putting the bowl in the sink to be washed, she would add a little water (maybe 1/2 cup or so) to the bowl and swish it around and then she would pour this into the cooked potatoes and cook for about 5-10 minutes longer and this watery mushy stuff would thicken the water and then she would add some salt, pepper and butter and they were ready to serve up. Very good and I think about her every time I make them.

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Side dish

Charred Broccolini with Hazelnuts and Raisins

Broccoli gone skinny! Or broccolini.

So, what do you do when you are snowed in or it’s just too cold to get outside? Well, I tend to do one of several things. Wrap up in a blanket, pop some popcorn and start binging on Hallmark movies. Or, I start organizing drawers (after I watched “Tidying Up” series on Netflix); or I start cooking or looking for something new to post.

Well this past week it was cold in Texas; and I don’t mean a foot of snow on the ground and subzero temperatures cold. I have to say 40’s and 50’s (low’s in the 30’s) in Texas can feel bone shilling cold. I’m probably not going to get any sympathy from friends who live in the north. Maybe we’ve lived in Texas so long (30 years almost) that anything below “hot” feels chilly. 

While my husband was out building our dry creek bed (I’ll show pictures when he’s done) I was inside looking for something to keep me busy so I didn’t have to go outside.

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Salads/ Side dish

Brussel Sprout and Date Salad

My Israeli dates made a wonderful salad.

I didn’t expect to see so much agriculture in Israel but we saw field after field of dates, olives, pomergrantes, and limes. All of their fields have drip irrigation; I guess that explains growing in the dessert.

Our first day of our tour (or I guess third if you count the two days getting there), we had rain the night before. It was their first rain in seven months and the morning ride on the bus still had us being sprinkled on — what did we see? The most beautiful, vivid rainbow I have ever seen. It was from end to end and you could see the lines of color so clearly and what happened next took us all by surprise — another rainbow appear on top of the first rainbow. What a way to start our trip.

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Entree/ Side dish

Sweet Corn Risotto with Goat Cheese

Michigan corn!

On a recent, very long, road trip (3,500 miles) to see our son and family in Chicago I bought corn.

So the trip started from Texas and stopping in Missouri for a few days and Chicago for a few days we made our way north around the lake. Did you know that it is 1,000 miles around Lake Michigan?

We had to deal with 4 hours of rain leaving Texas, then another 4 hours the day we left Missouri and guess what, another 4 hours of rain driving up the Wisconsin side of the lake before getting to our final destination (almost) on Mackinac Island where we stayed a couple of days, enjoyed biking around the island and tea at the Grand Hotel. Leaving there we headed towards Traverse City visiting a lot of little lake towns along the way; and no rain!

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Side dish

Refried Beans

So, what’s so good about these refried beans?

What’s so good about these refried beans? Well, they are homemade.

When I was on a girl’s trip last September we had lunch one day at Rancho De Chimayo in Chimayo, NM. This restaurant won a James Beard award in 2016 so I knew when I read that and we were going to Chimayo we had to eat there.

We had lunch before visiting the historic village of chimayo which dates back to 17th century and that’s where I first bought blue corn cornmeal that I made these Blue Corn Muffins. I also picked up some freshly ground Hatch green chili powder and green chili flakes which I had never seen in our stores.

Rancho De Chimayo, pueblo-style, restaurant has dining rooms throughout the house. Some of the rooms have exposed adobe walls and since 1965 they have been serving delicious authentic Mexican food. They also have outside dinging in courtyard like setting with flowers around. It was beautiful when we were there. We sat on the glassed in porch and it was a very nice lunch to enjoy with forever friends.

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Salads/ Side dish

Green Pea Pasta with Vegetables

Green and gluten-free!

While in Hot Springs a couple of months ago going to the horse races I found this gluten-free green pea pasta at one of the shops down town and since my son and family were visiting the next week I wanted something new gluten free to make for my daughter-in-law.

I purchased a red lentil pasta and this green pea pasta. My first thought was a pea pasta salad with green peas and some other green ingredients. I just happened to have one potato so I cut it into small cubes and boiled and added to the pasta salad.

There are so many gluten-free pasta out there now and once you add all your other ingredients you would never know it was GF. I was never a fan of gluten-free recipes (especially sweets/pastries) when they were starting to appear all over the internet. Seems like they were all made from just almond flour and to me everything tasted like almonds. I like all the new blends of flours and especially the pastas made with vegetables like this green pea pasta. This one comes from Abruzzo, Italy and you can buy it here or find it in a specialty shop.

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Side dish

Forbidden Black Rice and Mushrooms

Harvey’s gone and I’m ready to cook again.

We survived the black clouds and rainy days of Harvey and I have to say I wasn’t cooking much during those five days either. Lookin but not cookin.

The stores were crazy for days and have calmed down now and back to normal. Even during the busiest days of trying to grab a gallon of milk or bread or chips, I got in and out of the store in record time; sometimes settling for Half & Half instead of milk and taking the only lone loaf of bread on the shelves — Jewish rye and forget those chips, they were mostly gone. The news had reports of grocery lines that were 4 hours long just getting in and out to buy a few staples. I’m glad Harvey is in our review mirrors, he was definitely a unwelcomed guest to Texans.

I had purchased black rice before; never tried it. But, after cooking brown rice, white rice, and red rice for so long I was intrigued with this black colored grain that turns a deep purple color when cooked.

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Side dish

Lemon Parsley Rice

Is it rice or cauliflower?

Is it rice or cauliflower? That is the $64,000 question. Cauliflower rice is so popular right now. At Trader Joe’s you can even buy it already cut like rice. Now who would possibly buy it that way when you can grate it yourself and save a few pennies or nickels and I have a problem with buying things already prepared, how much trouble is it to grate anyway?

I didn’t think I would ever like saying I’m 60; and I sure don’t think I’m going to like saying I’m 70 come November. I’ve decided that 70 is too old to give up anything you like. Why do I want to eat cauliflower rice instead of real rice and why shouldn’t I eat WHITE rice if I want that instead of brown rice. Don’t get me started on white bread. White bread is a must for certain things like a bologna sandwich. (I know, ya say that bologna isn’t good for you — but remember I’m almost 70 and I’m not giving up anything I really want.) Don’t get me wrong, we do eat a lot of healthy things; brown rice most of the time, good bakery French breads and baguettes (white) and we do eat lots of fish and vegetables.

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Appetizers/ Bread/ HotApp/ Side dish

Crawfish Hushpuppies

My contribution to a cajun or Mardi Gras dinner.

Mardi Gras is almost here. I’ve never been to a Mardi Gras and I guess I don’t care if I ever go to one but I do love cajun cuisine. When we were in New Orleans last summer we had all kinds of cajun food and a few things I made after I got home.

I picked up these decorations/props at my craft circle. There’s a room bigger than my whole house (maybe twice over) full of supplies that we can go back and get for any project our group is working on. The little jester, mask and beads came from the floral department. And, since they weren’t using them for a few days, I thought I would borrow a few things and use for props. Just look at that little girl with her hand out, just waiting for a hushpuppy.

My local HEB had a guy out front last week with a big contraption that he was cooking crawfish in; so I decided to buy them and not fool with cooking such a small amount. I only bought a pound which didn’t make nearly enough meat. I’m putting 1 – 1 1/2 cups of crawfish tails in the recipe because that’s what it is going to take to make these delicious. At $5.99 a lb, and I bought only a pound and got 3/4 cup of meat, I’d go for the ones you cook yourself next time because they are going to be about $2.00 a pound, maybe less depending on where you live or you can buy crawfish tails in the freezer section.

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Side dish

Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sesame Seeds and Raisins

We have a new woman in our bedroom!

So, let’s talk about this new woman. My husband got her for Christmas and she quickly took up residence in our bedroom. Her name is Alexa and she is the voice that powers the Echo device from Amazon.

When he first got the “new woman” in his life I could hear him talking to her. Sweet nothings like … “Hey, Alexa, What’s up and she would come up with something witty to say, or “Hey Alexa, what’s the weather for tomorrow” and even “Hey Alexa, can you wake me up in the morning”. Ya know, you can even say “Alexa, shut up” and she doesn’t get offended.

Alexa can find you a restaurant or a movie playing near by, she can do math, she can spell, she can give you the results of a sporting event and she can even purchase things off of Amazon for you. What she can’t do is fetch that cup of coffee.

So one day, I decided to give her a try and said “Hey Alexa, what’s for dinner tonight”. This was just a few days after the new year and I guess she was already in the dieting frame of mind and she said, let’s do something healthy tonight.

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Side dish

Cauliflower Couscous

Couscous anyone?

We just finished having our kitchen painted, inside and out. Just cleaning out the cabinets and two pantries for the painters had my head spinning. The amount of STUFF that we had to find a resting place for a week was crazy. With a lifetime of cooking gadgets, pans, dishes, would I be able to get rid of anything? I thought I could go through everything as we unloaded everything but that was not possible. I found myself saying “oh, isn’t this cute, I could use this for a blog post”. When all was painted and we waited patiently the 4 days before putting things back in their space, I had only gotten rid of one table worth of things. In fact. I threw away my stovetop pizelle maker and ordered an electric one from Amazon.

I don’t know why I thought I needed to clean out my refrigerator during this project, maybe because we ate out for a week, but I found this cauliflower hiding in my refrigerator and came across this coop site and this recipe for cauliflower couscous.

Couscous is a North African dish made with steamed balls of semolina. Pititim is Israeli couscous. The only difference I see in the two varieties I find in the store is that the Israeli couscous is a lot larger grain (I prefer the Israeli over the smaller version.)

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Garnish/ Salads/ Side dish/ Vegetables

Pickled Yellow Squash

Take advantage of your summer harvest.

I’ve been doing a lot of pickling lately; first my roasted yellow pickled beets and now this pickled yellow squash.

Even if you don’t have a garden you can take advantage of finding great deals on produce and then canning some to enjoy in the winter. I didn’t find a great deal at the farmer’s market; their yellow squash was $3.00/lb. I bought one pound of their squash and then went to my HEB and bought 6 lbs. at $.99/lb. Now that’s a deal.

My mother and dad both use to can things. It seemed like it was more my mother canning tomatoes and pickles from my dad’s garden and then after my dad retired they both tried their hand(s) at pickled okra, beets. When they moved over to Reelfoot Lake he even canned some fish he had caught then they would make fish cakes out of the canned fish. Now, I wasn’t too keen on trying that recipe but I’m sure if he made it, it was good.

I’ve canned some marmalade before and some fig jam and even some cognac raisins to serve with cheese. Oh, I forgot, one of my sister’s (Terry) best canned items is her chow chow. It is better than any chow chow you will ever find in a grocery store and when I can get tomatoes for 50 cents a lb. I make some. I have to go to Missouri to get tomatoes at that price.

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