I am in love with my new pressure cooker! There I said it, er, typed it. I don’t care how geeky that sounds. I bought the Fagor Duo 10 quart pot with strainer, because it was recommended by Cooks Illustrated and I had a 20% off coupon and credit card rewards bringing my total cost to $14! Yeah me!
Even at $119 plus shipping I can already tell this would be worth it for me. Technically CI recommends the 8 quart size, but I want to do pressure canning so I went with the bigger size. And, I suppose I should point out that neither Fagor nor Cooks Illustrated is sponsoring this post. If they want to share it on their sites that’s fine by me, but I am not getting any compensation for this post. Continue reading →
I am guessing I am not the only parent to have this experience. You take your kid(s) to the fair (carnival, beach, amusement park, etc.), you are wandering around taking in the sights and having fun - then WHAM! They see it. The sickeningly sweet brightly colored spun sugar stuffed into bags dangling from snack booths everywhere you look.
“Can I have some cotton candy? PUH-leeeeeeeease.”
You promise “on the way home” and hope they forget. But as you head for the exit, the kid that can’t remember to wash his hands after he goes to the bathroom remembers you said he could have cotton candy. You try to pick the smallest bag they have ($5 plus tax!!!) but by the time you get home you have a sticky kid and a half a bag of cotton candy left. The kid is done with it, if you leave it sitting around it will harden and shrink (or you will be tempted to eat it. You can’t throw it out because you spent good money on it. So, what do you do with it? Continue reading →
After a little research I discovered this phrase does not refer to the making of pie as easy, but rather the eating of it. That makes more sense, because making a perfect pie can be a royal pain in the anatomy:
make the perfect pie dough that will be flaky and tender and hold it’s shape.
shape the dough into a thin even perfect circle (or two) then gently move it to the pan without it cracking.
add perfect filling (ok, I admit with most pies this is usually pretty easy)
top with another perfect circle of pie crust and crimp edges, vent and decorate – or use another topping like meringue.
bake until the top is perfectly brown, careful not to overbrown any crust decorations on top. Continue reading →
I harvested all but the last two beets from my garden the other day and there were enough for a big jar of Spicy Pickled Beets for a birthday present for my sister, Mel (better known as my brother Michael’s better half!).
I think she will like them considering Michael’s response when I posted the picture of the raw beets on Facebook was, “wow, all I am getting her is a new phone.” I hope she gets some and doesn’t have to share too many. Also, I hope they work on the marinade recipe I was told they were brainstorming using the leftover juice. Continue reading →
We have a guest post today from Clark H. Smith, my uncle, because it is now summer vacation for us here in the Humaciu household and I am in lazy mode. And more importantly, Uncle Clark is a far better writer (and cook, truth be told) than I can hope to be.
So without further ado here is his incredibly delicious looking, waist-line busting Fried Jambalaya Balls with Gumbo Gravy. Oh my!
photo by Clark H. Smith
Clark H Smith
(I dreamt up this concoction in my own tiny head and then I made the mistake of Googling it. Turns out there are some other evil geniuses out there. However! They did not douse theirs with gumbo gravy!!! Here’s how I make ‘em.)
Daddy was working the other night, it was almost dinner time and I was desperately trying to finish the scrapbooks I mentioned in the last blog. Little Man was probably going to snub any attempt at leftovers. I did a quick mental inventory of the pantry, fridge and freezer.
“Hey partner, would you like a sandwich with tuna and melted cheese?”
“Yes,” in his don’t bother me I am playing voice.
I risked it anyway and made a double batch of the recipe below. He ate half of it and was mad that I had eaten the rest. I bought him off with some M&Ms leftover from his birthday cake and he was happy. Or so I thought. Flash forward to 3 a.m.
I have spent the last week finally catching up on photo albums from the last 4 years in order to take advantage of a sale, coupon and gift cards. Six books ended up costing me $1.37 out of pocket, but I am buggy eyed from staring at the computer so much. I haven’t done much cooking let alone blogging. Sorry about that, I will be catching up on that soon.
Luckily, my favorite neighbor and dear friend, Cori brought me three pieces of Chocolate Eclair Cake. Ooops, I was supposed to share them with M & J? They wouldn’t have appreciated it as much as I did.
When I posted the picture on my Facebook page, I got numerous requests for the recipe and Cori quickly delivered. Continue reading →
A college buddy recently defined MAY as Most Activities of the Year. Oh is that true and I only have one (well, 2 if you count trying to keep up with my husband’s schedule at 6 different campuses as well). Between meetings for starting Kindergarten in August, end of this year’s activities, field trips, Mother’s Day and finally my son’s birthday at the end of the month I am exhausted. As evidenced by the fact that his birthday cake was 2 days late and was store bought. In all fairness to me, my husband has been working the last two nights so today after school was the first chance the three of us have had time to celebrate together.
I had grand plans a few months ago of either a Daniel Tiger cake or a Cars cake. I was going to make my own ice cream cake (chocolate and vanilla). It ended up being a store bought ice cream cake – on sale, woohoo! At the store I planned to scrape off the blue decorations and redo it in chocolate and either put on a Daniel Tiger face or make a road for Lightening and Mater.
By the time I got home I decided the white frosting was fine and I’d just make some rainbow stripes with M&Ms and print pictures of some of his favorite characters, laminate them with packing tape and tape them on popsicle sticks (finger puppets!).
My solution sounded so simple, until the printer refused to cooperate and would not print Lightening, Mater and Super Mario. After 10 minutes I gave up and rummaged through the toys on the floor, found the car gave it a bath and plopped it on the cake. I never did find the Mario figurine.
Quick photo shoot and I was DONE! Especially when I noticed the M&Ms were starting to sweat and bleed. sigh. I quickly shoved it back in the freezer and hoped for the best.
We presented it to him after school. His reaction was sheer joy.
You had me at “cake”.
A good lesson for me. I could have driven myself to exhaustion trying to make the “perfect cake”. But he is 5 years old. It is a cake. It has a candle on it and some fun toys. He wouldn’t have been any happier with something more elaborate. And now I have time and energy to play with him instead of worrying about a mess in the kitchen.
My family would gather on Thanksgiving day at Aunt Jeanne and Uncle John’s house (for 60 years!). On Friday or Saturday afterwards my mom would make another turkey with cornbread stuffing and pear salad (canned pears with a dollop of mayonnaise in the hole topped with a maraschino cherry). This way we had leftovers too.
The other day I picked up a turkey breast that was on sale and it was the perfect size for my family of three plus enough for leftovers. And since my brother and aunt weren’t around I got the skin all to myself – mwa ha ha ha!
And one of my favorite things to make with leftover turkey is Turkey Curry. It works just as well with leftover chicken, or just cut up some chicken breasts into about 1 inch cubes then quickly cook them in the pan before continuing with the recipe. Or use frozen or canned shrimp. To me, the best part of the whole dish is the toppings. Ma’am always put out little dishes with the condiments and we got to add our own. Continue reading →
I started getting ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas today by making one of Ma’am’s best, most asked for recipes – Kahlua. It is a simple thing to make but you need to make it early and let it sit at least one month before serving. It is even better if you wait longer, as in YEARS! I am going for 6 months. But, since I doubled the recipe I may keep half of it longer. As it “ages” the water evaporates and it consequently thickens and becomes sweeter.