Sunday, August 22, 2010

Michiganders brave Mexican

Been meaning to invite the locals who live up the hill and decided they would be a good match to the annual renters next door as some common ground as retired teachers and boat people. One in fact is a retired Spanish teacher. Being mostly non-drinkers and un-accustomed as they are to cocktails of any sort, I cut them off at one (powerful and from scratch) Marguerita and then served the following:

Chips & Chili con Queso
Cucumber Salad with Tarragon
Fresh Guacamole
Wayne's Wonderful $50 Beans
Southwestern Beef Fajitas with fixings:
Pico de gallo, cheese, sour cream, peppers, onions
Blueberry/Blackberry Tart
Sadly, failed to convert one of the native Michiganders who ate her fajita totally plain on a bare plate, and did not experiment with any new flavors, but the rest seemed enthused and ate with enthusiasm. NOTE to cook: not much actually cooking here but way too much preliminary prep required - think again before agreeing to this menu next time even if hubby begs!

Paula Red's ready

Couldn't resist the bag of "local" apples at the store last week - harbinger of the fall season. Never heard of Paula Reds but from a well known local orchard. Apparently a recent variety, discovered in Michigan and named for the grower's wife (nice). Make good eating and good applesauce so I better get busy.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Something I just found out about butcher blocks - who knew?

How to Clean a Butcher Block

Method #3 is the part I was interested in. Read about having to rub the cutting boards with salt every night after the day's work was done in the butcher shop in
Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat and Obsessions
by Julie Powell, the author of the previously fascinating Julie and Julia about cooking through Julia Child's cookbook. The more recent one is about her apprenticing as a butcher but in between rhapsodies about eating fresh liver, she goes on and on about her problems being married to a perfect man while lusting for another. It gets a tad tired, but overall, still learned a lot about meat. Like how to clean up after.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Feeding Texans Locally

We did have several memorable meals last week when we had three female houseguests for three full days and approximately...was it 10 meals?. Lots of talking. Lots of eating...and more eating.
For the first evening meal we bought frozen Perch from local fish market and I fried them. Have learned not to try and get fancy with fried fish. Dregged in flour, slightly seasoned with S/P and Paprika. Very hot canola oil spiked with leftover bacon grease in the bottom of the cast iron skillet. Tend to be impatient with the first ones when the oil is not quite hot enough. Final batches always come out the best. Made tartar
sauce with my homemade B&B pickles.
All yum. All fun.

Happy Cinnamon Roll Birthday Cake

Made this for Bob's birthday instead of a cake. I think he kindly didn't mention that they're really not alot like his favorite Cinnabons. Mine actually have real ingredients, not alot of air and way less icing and are labor intensive! It's the thought that counts, right?