I'm back in the kitchen and getting my butt in gear after a two-week visit from Mom. It has been such a hot summer here, we didn't end up doing a whole lot, but I guess it's more about spending time together anyhow. We did spend a lot of time in the kitchen, but it was mostly stuff I have previously blogged. Let's see, we made ...
This time, I made the steaks with baked potatoes and broccoli with some Santa Fe Philadelphia Cooking Creme on the broccoli. Love that stuff!!
This time around, I skipped the bacon and prosciutto and opted for artichokes with the spinach. Yummmm!! Since the "picky palate" in our crowd likes a sauce/gravy on his meatloaf, I pulled out a container of homemade meat sauce I had in the freezer and doctored it up with some wine, etc. Don't know why the pic came out so pink - I swear it was cooked! ;)
Lemon/Thyme Blondies (not blogged yet)
We figured out we've been driving past a great Amish market for years without realizing! The parking lot is full of sheds, so we all assumed it was a garden center and never gave it a second glance since we have others closer to home. I was expecting more crafty/homemade/natural stuff than what they had. A lot of it was regular stuff they must buy in bulk and re-package - some of it was pretty pricey. They also had tons of stuff I had never seen before. A bazillion different spices, seeds, nuts, candies, you name it. They even had cans of pork broth! I see turkey broth nowadays around the holidays, but I've never seen pork broth before.
One of the things I got there was a bag of lemon chips (like chocolate chips). I've never seen those in a regular market before. I threw together my congo bar recipe and replaced the chocolate chips with the lemon, and added a bunch of fresh thyme. I had this problem the last time I baked bars, but I swear, I thought I was using a different pan - they were raw! I baked them in a bigger pan than called for, for a longer time than called for, the tester came out clean, and I still gave it more time. Sigh! :( It was recommended that if I can't get the recipe right next time that I market it as aromatherapy it smelled so good. :) I'll have to try that again in the next few days while I still have the rest of the thyme and lemon chips. I definitely wont bake them in glass this time.
One of the other things I was surprised to see at that store were ice cream sandwich cookies. They had scalloped round cookies and the traditional rectangular cookies, so I HAD to grab some of those and make ice cream sandwiches! (See pic above)
Hmmmm, what else did I cook while Mom was here?? Ohhh ...
She went crazy over the chicken dish. I used pistachios instead of pine nuts this time. I like the pine nuts but thought the pistachios would be a better visual contrast to the barley. Everyone was talking about stuffing a turkey with that mixture. It looks and smells like Thanksgiving. :)
I baked scones for breakfast one morning; this time with some dried raspberries I also got at the Amish market. Those were really good served with lemon curd.
I also made Yogurt while she was here and used some to make Tzatziki. I think that's it. She cooked one night, we went out a few times, etc.
Let's see, what else is going on. Hmmm. Oh, did anyone feel that earthquake today? That was really weird. I was sitting on the edge of my bed doing something on my laptop computer and suddenly felt like I was bouncing. I focused for a second and tried to settle myself but was definitely bouncing. I looked at my fan thinking there was no way that was strong enough to cause it, looked out the window to see if someone was doing yard work on a piece of heavy equipment, then started to wonder if I was having a stroke or getting vertigo again or something. LOL. If I hadn't had the TV on and heard the report a few minutes later, I still would have thought it was me. Never expected that in Central New York.
Oh, another kinda cool thing to come up was that the restaurant I posted about that my sister and brother-in-law took me to for my birthday (wine tasting) contacted me to ask permission to use one of my photos as a still shot in a commercial they just filmed. I (of course) told them no problem! They said the commercial will run through September during the news here, so I'll be curious to see it.
OK, I guess that's it for now. I did make something new last night, so I'll post that in the next day or two and see if I can figure out those Lemon-Thyme Bars. The middle may have been raw, but the edges were sure yummy, and the smell was heaven!
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Switching gears to a sad note, for anyone who doesn't follow a lot of food blogs, has been living under a rock for the past few weeks, or has been visiting with their Mom and largely off the grid lately, one of our fellow food bloggers (Jennifer Perillo of In Jennie's Kitchen) has suffered the unspeakable tragedy of suddenly losing her husband to a heart attack.
I hate to be repetitive, but for the benefit of those who haven't read about it elsewhere, Jennie has two young girls (3 and 8); does not qualify for widow benefits through Social Security due to the ridiculous annual income cap of $14,160; may have to pay off the mortgage on their NYC apartment in a lump sum, as she is not listed on the mortgage; and, to add insult to injury, their health insurance will expire in December, leaving her with payments possibly in excess of the mortgage.
When I got back online, I was briefly annoyed thinking that someone had uploaded one of their blog posts several times, then I realized it wasn't the same person. Jennie's husband Mike had a Jones for Jennie's Peanut Butter Pie, so when everyone was asking Jennie what they could do for her, she threw down the gauntlet and suggested baking a PB Pie in his honor. If you have been subliminally programmed for such a craving recently, it's because of all the Facebook, Twitter, Blog, and other posts on their behalf.
In the wake of this event, a trio already working on a non-profit site where food bloggers and their readers could join forces to promote causes and offer assistance in their own communities, has taken on Jennie's situation as their first project. That site, established by Maggie Keet, Erika Pineda-Ghanny, and Aimée Wimbush-Bourque, is Bloggers Without Borders, and this, their first campaign, is A Fund for Jennie.
The link below will take you to a PayPal site where you can make a donation for Jennie's family. I urge you to do so if you are able, no matter how small the amount. We all know that everyone is struggling already in this economy. You can also keep and eye on Facebook and Twitter for bloggers offering up items (food and otherwise) for auction, with the proceeds going to the fund.
If you are not financially able to assist in any way, I urge you to please just take a few moments to pass on this post and others you may see relating to Jennie's cause to get the message out. Thank you so much! I'm contemplating an auction item myself at the moment, so stay tuned.