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Dried Tomatoes December 3, 2008

Posted by liajo in comfort food.
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sun-dried-tomatoesI had a bumper crop of tomatoes this year.  More than anyone could eat fresh, so I dried a lot of them to use this winter.  Last Sunday was the first time I used any.  We just finished eating fresh tomatoes mid November.

Along with drying them I also froze them in single serve baggies, just an added step to ensure the don’t go bad before we can use them.  While the rest of the casserole was coming together I added warm water right in baggie and let the tomatoes sit for a few minutes.  When the time came to add them I added the water and all.

Now this is the cool part, my 23 year daughter doesn’t like tomatoes.  She never has.  She has always picked them out of everything.  But not this time.  As she was eating she said if these are tomatoes they aren’t to bad.  I told her they were tomatoes that been dried.  Again she said, not bad and kept eating.

I don’t know if the drying process changed the flavor just enough or maybe the texture.  I really don’t care.  I’m just really happy she’ll eat a tomato.

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Bubba’s Day November 27, 2008

Posted by liajo in Bubba & Allie, comfort food.
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You may call it Thanksgiving, but in our house, it’s Bubba Day.  There is a toss up as to Bubba’s favorite activity.  It’s either eating or sleeping, it’s hard to tell which, so this is a perfect day for him.

He is in fact a Jack Russell, but I know that somewhere in him there has to be a recessive hound gene.  His sister Allie is a true Jack Russell.  She can jump in place, she plays with her toy’s and us all the time, and her tail and tongue are always wagging.  Bubba lays on the couch and watches her.

Bubba is laying on the couch right now, on his back with all four legs straight out.  His nose twitches every now and then so I know he is alive and smelling the food.  He’ll time it just right and not wake up until the food is ready. 

Yeah, it might be Thanksgiving everywhere else in America today, but at our house, it is most definitely Bubba’s Day.  Have a good one boy.

Turkey or Not Turkey November 22, 2008

Posted by liajo in comfort food, good things.
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It is no secret that I am not a fan of turkey.  I never have been.  I remember being in the forth grade and eating hot dogs for Thanksgiving because I didn’t like turkey.  I also don’t like pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes or that gross cranberry jelly glob. 

Before you start screaming that I am un-American I am not.  The pilgrims did not have any of things either, it all came along later.

This year however we are having turkey.  Not because my taste buds changed but because I bought a 16.5 pound turkey for a total of 38 cents (yes I got change from 2 quarters.)  So for that price I will eat some turkey, some turkey salad, turkey soup and green chili turkey enchiladas (the only real reason to cook turkey.)

We will also have my great grandmothers dressing, not stuffing, we never stuff a bird it is an excellent way to give everybody food poisoning.  We’re  having peach cobbler instead of pumpkin pie (no one in our family likes pumpkin pie.)  I found a really good recipefor mango cranberry sauce so we won’t be having the glob of cranberry jelly.  And we’re ditching the sweet potatoes altogether in favor of regular mashed.

So for the first time in many years there will be Thanksgiving at our house, just with a little twist.  I think the pilgrims would have liked it.

Holiday Crafts and Food November 17, 2008

Posted by liajo in comfort food, crafts, good things.
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wild-turkeyWe don’t always celebrate the holiday’s.  Not for any other reason than we just don’t feel like it.  It’s like taking a break from all the madness.  It actually makes the next time you celebrate the holidays even better.

This year there will be holiday celebrations and I’m really looking forward to it. 

My daughter and some of her girl friends are coming over next weekend and we’re all going to do crafts together.  I have lots of craft stuff so we won’t have to buy much.  These crafts will make great present for them to give to each other or their moms or grandmas.  It will be like when they were younger and in Brownies, only better because we can all have some spiked egg nog if we want to.

I’m also cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year from scratch.  I haven’t done that in years.  We usually order one of those dinners all ready done from the store.  I’ve been looking at some new recipes and have found some really great ones like cranberry mango sauce with a jalapeno in it.  I’ll be making some of the old favorites also, like my great grandmother’s stuffing.  I’m not going to try cramming all the cooking into one though, all start this weekend so I can actually sit down on Thanksgiving and enjoy eating.

Yeah, taking a break from the holidays can be a good thing.  It makes the next holiday celebration bigger and better.

Soup and Sandwich November 10, 2008

Posted by liajo in comfort food, good things.
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soup-tips-1Is there any two more foods in the world that scream comfort more and a bowl of soup with a sandwich?

I started craving tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich the other day.  It just sounded soooo good.  Especially with the weather turning a little colder.

So for lunch yesterday that is what we had.  I added a twist by putting sliced roast beef on my sandwich.  And we didn’t use the thin sandwich cheese.  No, my husband got out two blocks of cheese and sliced them pretty thick.  I also like to put a little grated cheese in the soup.

And then when your eating, dip the sandwich in the soup.  Oh yeah, sooo good.

Birthday Ice Cream November 9, 2008

Posted by liajo in comfort food, good things.
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ice-cream-15Today is my husbands birthday.  Happy birthday dear.  All he wanted for his birthday was an ice cream maker.  So that’s what he got.

Our local Ace Hardware had the one he wanted so that’s were we went.  Even in November they still had one.  Ace Hardware has everything.

And today we had home made ice cream.  For the first run out he opted to make old fashion vanilla.  It was great.  Just like Tasty Freeze soft serve.

Truth be told by the time we bought everything we needed to make one gallon, whipping cream, rock salt and half and half we probably could have bought 5 to 7 gallons in the store.  But I guess that isn’t the point.

My husband asked me if it brought back any memories and I said yea, it did.  Me, my sister, two younger aunts, dad and grandpa on the back porch.  I always cranked first because I was youngest.  Then it got to hard for us to turn so we went to play.  Then my sister and aunt would be mean to me.  Great memories.  No really they are great memories.

Oh yea, the new is electric.  No more cranking.

No Cooking November 7, 2008

Posted by liajo in comfort food, good things.
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There are two things I always enjoy when I go on vacation.  One is not having to cook and the other is finding really good and different food to eat.  We had luck with both on our trip this week.

Our first night in Trinidad we found the East Peak Pub, check them out at www.eastpeakpub.com.  I’m glad we made the effort to eat there and it was an effort.  We had to take a detour around road construction to find them.  After we figured that out, they weren’t open for the evening yet.  But we waited and the food and people were worth it.

Their menu is a collection of food probably not found together anywhere else.  A little English, my husband had the fish and chips with jalapeno tarter sauce.  Some American, I passed on the Kobe burger because I was looking for adventure.  And a lot east India.  I decided on the mango and coconut curry, good choice.  It defiantly had a small town pub feel with some friendly people.

Our second night we were looking for pizza.  We had seen a couple of places earlier in the day on Main Street so we went forth to find pizza.  One place was not open that night.  The second had no customers.  Not a good sign when deciding where to eat, so we went for the third option.  It must of been fate that led us to Jo Jo’s Pizzeria.  The place was packed so we sat at the counter which meant we got to watch as the pizza’s were being made.  While we had been looking for pizza we both order calzones.  The pizza looked excellent and I’m sure it was good, but boy did I enjoy my calzone. 

Since we were sitting so close we got to talking with the wait staff and pizza makers.  Turns out one of the pizza guys was the owner Jo Jo and that was only their second night to be open.  If the crowd and the food are any indication they will be open for a long time to come.

Beans or no Beans October 26, 2008

Posted by liajo in comfort food, good things.
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Nothing says fall like a good chili.  Soup is a close second, but in our house chili always wins out. 

Chili can be an all day process or only take about 30 minutes.  Both are good so the choice is personal. 

Today’s chili will be the 30 minute version.  I was under the weather yesterday so I didn’t plan for the all day process. 

Being under the weather is another good reason to eat chili.  We load ours done with green chili’s which have more vitamin C than orange’s.  The green chili will open up the sinus’ and clear out the stuffy head.

Like a good stew almost anything can go in a chili.  I have tomato’s in every window sill in the kitchen, so I’ll use a couple of them.  I have onion’s so I’ll use them also.  And yes we’ll use beans.  Beans always go in our chili.  I know people that make chili without beans, I just don’t know why.

New subject October 26, 2008

Posted by liajo in comfort food, good things.
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I’ve decided to add another “page” to my blog.  The new subject is comfort food.  It makes sense that I would blog about food since I grow so many of the vegetables that we eat. 

I hope you enjoy reading future blogs about food and cooking and how to use the vegetables that you can grow and preserve yourself.