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Winslow Arizona

11 Apr

“What we speak becomes the house we live in.”  Hafiz

Went to see LaPosada, an incredible hotel in Winslow Arizona.  Not to be missed.  Google it if you’re that interested to see if it’s really that great or if I’m just blowing smoke.  Old ladies do that sometime.

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A garden in Eden in the middle of the dessert.  And then there was the food.  Decided to have a salad because I’ve been eating so much on this trip.  Ordered the Spicy Chicken Chili which came with a bunch of black beans and a corn husk filled with a sweet corn polenta.  OMG.  Happiness prevailed.

But before that brought the main course they brought out an appetizer of cornbread drenched in butter and topped with a honey glaze.

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Yes, a few bites were consumed before I remembered the pic.  Worth it!  And then the main course arrived.

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The chicken is to the far left nestled against the tortillas.  Polenta in the center and black beans to the right.  Two of us consumed the black beans.  We think it’s going to be an interesting night at the motel!

Loveya – The Grandma

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Mushrooms in Red Wine

9 Jan

“The peanut is neither a pea nor a nut.” NARQ

So what does the above quote have to do with a recipe for mushrooms in red wine.  Nothing.  I just want to tell you about the mice in our house and the impact on our neighborhood environment.

Whenever mice come in for the winter they generally head for the kitchen drawer that houses jar lids.  Your guess is as good as mine.  The solution to this visit is to set a mousetrap baited with peanut butter.  Problem.  I don’t eat peanuts so I don’t have any peanut butter.  I do have almond butter and, luckily, it works wonderfully.

Part two of mouse visits is the role my husband, Larry, plays in this drama.  It’s his job to check the drawer when he gets home and dispose of the new mouse-of-the-day.  He does this by tossing the mouse out into the snow and magically, by morning, the mouse is gone.  It’s our firm belief that the neighborhood cats, roaming at night, enjoy a midnight snack.

So here’s the problem.  Our neighborhood cats are now accustomed to mouse with just a touch of almond butter.  Is mouse infestation just around the corner unless we find a way to get almond butter on each and every neighborhood mouse?  And you thought you had problems!

So the next question on the agenda is why make a holiday dish, Mushrooms in Red Wine, after the holidays?  You could make this dish because someone gave you a bottle of red wine and you’re not quite sure what to do with it.  I’m making it because it will be a nice addition to my leftover pot roast or to some hamburger patties.  Oh, how festive.  Or lastly, in my world, I’m making it so the house will smell like booze when my husband gets home and he’ll be so worried about me that he’ll forget to complain about his job.  Whatever.

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Mushrooms with parsley and thyme.

You will notice, when I finally get to the recipe, that the type of mushroom is not specified.  I therefore chose to use three types of mushrooms – button, shiitake, and oyster – because that’s what was available in the produce section and those are the easiest to spell.  (Don’t forget the second “i” in Shiitake.)  This will also give me a chance to report on which mushrooms seem to work the best.  

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound mushrooms

3 cups of pinto noir (or some kind of red wine that isn’t sweet)

3 sprigs fresh thyme

2 sprigs fresh parsley

1 cup chicken stock*

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DISTRUCTIONS:  First, you’ll need to clean the mushrooms.  That means you’re going to remove the stems and wipe off the crowns of the mushrooms to remove any obvious dirt.  You might want to simmer the mushroom stems in some water and make a mushroom stock.  Just a thought.

Place all of the ingredients into a heavy bottom saucepan and simmer, covered, for several hours.  When you finally remember that you have mushrooms simmering on the stove, remove the cover and continue to simmer until the liquid is reduced and slightly thickened.

Remove the parsley and thyme.  Store in the fridge (the mushrooms, not the parsley and thyme) until party/meal time when you’ll want to reheat and place on the buffet in a small crockpot or chaffing dish, or pour directly over your hamburger patty.

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This was today’s breakfast.  A hamburger patty topped with mushrooms in red wine sauce, with a nod to the word, sauce.  The sauce never thickened.  But it was luscious.  I can’t imagine serving a crockpot of these mushrooms just to nibble on, but I can imagine reheating some cooked chicken in the mushrooms and red wine liquid.

Loveya – The Grandma

* I get my chicken stock by roasting chickens in a crockpot (12/9/13 post) and using the liquid that forms in the bottom of the crockpot.  Extra broth can be frozen.

Trashy Asparagus Roll-Ups

29 Nov

“I don’t even butter my bread.  I consider that cooking.”  Katherine Cebrian

I present this recipe with apologies to good health and a tip of the hat to word juggling.  The easiest way to help people rationalize their dietary choices is to put a vegetable in the name of the recipe.  Let me clarify this point.

One of my sons makes an apple salad.  Are we thinking healthy?  The salad consists of cut up apples, cut up Snickers candy bars, and whipped cream.  “I don’t know why I’m gaining weight.  All I had was a bowl of salad!”

This is one of those recipes, minus the whipped cream.  You’re going to love it!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a rectangular baking dish with non-stick spray.

INGREDIENTS:

5 large flour tortillas

1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional on the crumbled)

Asparagus, cooked

1 8-ounce thing of cream cheese, softened

Butter, very soft

Parmesan cheese, fresh grated preferred but not a matter of life and death

Distructions:  Spread a layer of cream cheese on each tortilla.  Place some asparagus and bacon at one end and roll it up.  Place these lovely little roll-ups into the baking dish, spread the tops with butter, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake these little beauties at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Cool the for about 5 minutes before serving.  Because the pan was sprayed with a non-stick spray, if you were following the distructions, the bottoms get slightly crispy.  They hold their shape and work well as finger food.

Serve some mixed greens on the side with a simple dressing.  Bottled dressing is simple but we’ll get to some other simple dressings in future blogs that you can whip up and impress your friends.

Choices!  You could cool the roll-ups and slice them to serve as appetizers.  You could also pack these roll-ups in lunch boxes for the kids or take them with you in your purse so you’ll be able to eat and talk on the phone while you’re driving.  Just kidding.  They’d get the inside of your purse all greasy.  Place them in a separate container.

Loveya – The Grandma