I'm a Sales Consultant living with my husband in Eagle River, Alaska. I love food-reading about it, cooking it, eating it, and sharing it with others.
I'm a Sales Consultant living with my husband in Eagle River, Alaska. I love food-reading about it, cooking it, eating it, and sharing it with others.
I have decided to join that group of people know as bloggers. I didn't think that I would ever participate in this on-line endeavor, but then I joined a group known as the Sunday Slow Bakers. We choose a cookbook, then each week one person from the group chooses a recipe from that book. Sometime during the week we make the chosen item, then on Sunday we all blog about the results. Since I love to cook, and love to share food with others, I thought this would be a perfect way to do both.
The cookbook we began with is Dolce Italiano, by Gina DePalma. It is full of tempting desserts of all kinds. The first recipe I made was the Sicilian Pistachio Cookies, which I just loved. The next two weeks I was out of town on vacation and not able to participate. The choices, Babbo Breadsticks and Grappa-soaked Mini Sponge Cakes, were loved by all who did make them, so I will have to add them to my list to try at a later time. Sunday's choice was Biscotti di Limone e Semolina, or Lemony Semolina Cookies. These again were very good. The semolina gave a nice textural contrast to the flour. Then there was the lemon juice, lemon zest, and lemoncello liquor that added to a wonderful complex lemon taste. They were rolled in sugar, but still not overly sweet. Here's the final results:
I'm now looking forward to next week's choice: Hazelnut and Grape Tart.
As I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately, I’ve been seeing many postings about something called Omnivore's 100. This started on the website www.verygoodtaste.com.uk. This site says there are 100 things they think every good omnivore should have tried at least once. You are to highlight the items you’ve had, and cross out any items that you would never consider eating. I was suprised- I have eaten all but 28 items on the list.
The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile-I’ve eaten alligator, but not crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp-yes, I grew up in Missouri
10. Baba ghanoush
12. Pho-love it!
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
17. Black truffles
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes-blueberries, and I’m not sure what else.
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries-wild raspberries grow in our yard
23. Foie gras-I know it’s awful, but I love it!
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas-very addictive
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar-yes, WAY too much cognac, and too much of the cigar, and I hate to tell you for how many hours I was hanging over the toilet! DO NOT DO THIS!
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O-jell-o shots
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects-not sure if purposefully, but a couple of days ago ate a whole mosquito by accident
44. Goat’s milk-I was another of those infants allergic to cow’s milk and had to drink goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu-no, I wouldn’t try this one
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel-in sushi only
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin-had a boss who loved sushi, and told me sea urchin tasted like ice cream. Okay, soft texture, but awful! How he compared that to ice cream, I have no idea!
51. Prickly pear
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
60. Carob chips
62. Sweetbreads-can’t remember where, but it was on a tasting menu I had once
65. Durian-probably wouldn’t try-don’t think I could manage
66. Frogs’ legs-ate these quite a few times as a kid, but last time I ate them all I could picture was a green jumping frog
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill-hate to admit this one, but yes, I have. A friend gave me some moose that they harvested after it had been hit by a car. (It was all legal, authorities approved.)
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
79. Lapsang souchong-I think I might have had this, but not sure.
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky-bought this in the store tonight to try, since I look at it everytime I check out at the store. Very good-skinny little cookies that look like really thin breadsticks, dipped in chocolate or strawberry.
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.-unfortunately not, even though I have had the tasting menu at a few fabulous restaurants.
85. Kobe beef
88. Flowers-just put Nastursums on my salad tonight
89. Horse-our first meal in Italy, in Venice, the restaurant had horse meat pizza. I decided to pass.
90. Criollo chocolate
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
Okay, I can't be left out. This All About Me Meme has been going around on blogs lately. I think I originally saw it on Marta's blog Postcards from the Trail.
1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? No, not that I know of.
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? This morning, as I finished reading “Kite Runner”. I saw the movie a while ago, but hadn’t read the book.
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? No. I only print except when signing my name. I always wanted to be able write in that really pretty script some people have.
4. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? No.
5. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I sure would. I would like being friends with someone who would cook for me and share good wine with me.
6. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Actually, no.
7. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? No
8. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? I have bungee jumped once. From a 200 foot crane, that was in a parking lot, in Quincy, Il. That was before they had the big inflatable things underneath you now sometimes see. Oh, and I’ve skydived six times.
9. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? If hot, oatmeal. If cold, Go Lean Crunch.
10. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Usually.
11. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Most of the time. Sometimes I surprise myself with how strong I can be, but others times I wish I could find more of that strength. I am VERY strong-willed though. In other words, stubborn.
12. FAVORITE ICE CREAM? I don’t really have a favorite. I didn’t eat a lot of ice cream until I participated in the Sunday Slow Scoopers. As much as I love chocolate, I would probably prefer a coconut, or one flavored with orange rind. Or the cinnamon was really good. I did work at a Swenson’s Ice Cream Factory in High School, and my favorite flavor there was Swiss Orange Chip (chocolate ice cream with orange flavoring, with chocolate chips).
13. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? The way they are dressed. Not in a bad way or anything. And the way people carry themselves.
14. RED OR PINK? Red
15. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? That I have never seemed to be consistent in my exercise, therefore my thighs and butt are larger than I would like.
16. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My dad, and my dog.
17. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Right now I have slippers on, so brown suede with fur lining.
18. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Dinner, which was a green salad with dates, pinenuts, and a little goatcheese. Then a bowl of leftover Caldo Verde Soup, and Broda bread. And a glass of red wine.
19. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? I am in my office with nothing on, but I hear the TV from upstairs as my husband is watching a movie.
20. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? I’m not really sure-maybe purple. Or a bright ocean blue. I don’t think of myself in terms of a color.
21. FAVORITE SMELLS? Bread baking. And the smell of wine country, especially around harvest time. And lavender. And peonies. And roses. Can you tell one of my favorite senses is smell?
22. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? A co-worker.
23. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? I don’t watch sports. I do on occasion watch gymnastics, but usually only during the Olympics.
24. HAIR COLOR? Blonde
25. EYE COLOR? Blue
26. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Not usually. I do wear glasses. I have dry eyes and have trouble wearing contacts now, but I wear them on vacation when I want to snorkel, so I don’t have to wear a prescription mask.
27. FAVORITE FOOD? I don’t have just one favorite, but I could live on bread, cheese, and fruit. And a little chocolate now and then. And wine.
28. SCARY MOVIES OR SAPPY ENDINGS? Sappy endings.
29. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Burn after Reading. Oh, I just remembered, I was off work yesterday and I watched a DVD of Sideways (again).
30. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Cream polar-fleece. Today I had on a silk lime green turtleneck sweater.
31. SUMMER OR WINTER? It depends on where I am. Summer here in Alaska for sure. But I don’t like it too hot, so in the lower 48 spring and fall are usually my favorites.
32. HUGS OR KISSES? Hugs.
33. FAVORITE DESSERT? Don’t think I have a favorite. I love chocolate cake. And fruit cobblers or pies with ice cream on top.
34. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? I just finished “Kite Runner”, and before that “Water For Elephants”(which I loved). I don’t have one to read now, although I thought I’d go back and re-read “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”.
35. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD I don’t have a mouse pad. My laptop has that little red button in the center.
36. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? I didn’t watch TV last night. The last full program I watched was Biggest Loser on Tuesday night. I’m waiting for an install of our new satellite dish, and I only have a tiny TV with rabbit ears that picks up any channels.
37. FAVORITE SOUND? Birds chirping. And laughter.
38. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Beatles.
39.WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Italy.
40. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? If we’re not looking for a hidden talent, I guess my best talent would be cooking. I asked my husband just now, and he informed me my special talent was the gift of gab. One that is a little more obscure is I can remember meals that I ate years ago, and often describe them in great detail.
41. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Missouri
A group of Slow Travelers who have blogs have decided for the second year in a row to take on the challenge of blogging every day for the month of February. I didn't think I wanted to participate, but then decided I just couldn't resist the challenge. I'm not sure what all I will write about-hopefully, the entries will be interesting, but bear with me when they are not.
I really don't need to spend any more time on the computer than I already do, but I have no doubt that I will be following more of my fellow bloggers blogs. It will be fun to discover more about this great group of people I have met(well,not in person, yet) through the Slow Trav website.
Last week, Colleen asked on the SlowTrav board how many different kinds of mustard you had in your fridge. I didn't think I had many, but I knew I had way too many condiments. So today, I did an inventory of my refrigerator, and was quite shocked at what I found-over 50 jars/bottles of mustards, jams, syrups, etc. Here is what was in my fridge on Monday, Feb. 9th.
Saturday was Valentine's Day. I was originally supposed to be out of town, but my trip got cancelled and so I decided to cook my husband a special dinner. I'll show photos and post recipes beginning tomorrow, but today, I'll just share with you what I fixed and show you the beautiful roses that my husband brought home to me that evening.
We started off the evening with Chocolate Raspberry Martinis. Our first course was Caprese Salad with a crusty baguette. The unique thing about this salad is that I made the Mozzarella. I decided to start with early with the Curds Our Whey cheesemaking group. For our main course, I made fresh pasta that was served with a Rabbit Ragu. Then for dessert, we had mousse-chocolate on the bottom, with strawberry on top. All served with a delicious Napa Valley wine from Sawyer Vineyards. We had our dinner next to the fireplace, so it was a nice romantic evening filled with good food and good company.
Here it is almost the end of February, and I almost missed a day of posting. I thought I had this scheuled to post, but somehow I made a mistake. Luckily, I caught it on time.
I'm not sure who's blog I saw this on, but when I needed a post for this week I thought I'd join the group in posting this.
The things I've done are marked with an asterick.
*Started your own blog
*Slept under the stars
Played in a band
*Watched a meteor shower
Given more than you can afford to charity
*Been to Disneyland/world (I’ve been through the front gate, but not truly visited-does that count?)
*Climbed a mountain
*Held a praying mantis
*Sang a solo (the part of Yum-Yum, in the Mikado, in Junior High School)
*Bungee jumped (from a 200’ crane, without a big blowup mattress thing underneath)
Last night I discovered that Barb of Follow my Bliss had given me an award - the Fab-u-lous Blog Award. Thank you Barb. As a winner of this award, I am to talk about 5 things I think are fabulous, then pass the blog award on to 5 other bloggers.
I want to say thanks to everyone who inquired how I'm doing after surgery. The surgery went well. The biopsy came back just fine. Evidently the damage to my toe, from wear and tear, caused damage to the cartilage, which caused (if I remember what the dr said correctly) some extra soft cartilage growth, which is what the "tumor" or growth on my toe was. He removed that, cleaned out the damaged cartilage and removed the bone fracture. Oh yeah, he also drilled some holes in the bone to relieve pressure. Just saw him today for a follow-up, and he said it all looks good. Could cause me some problems 5, 10, or 20 years down the road, which if it does, at that time is when I would probably have to have the bones broken, a small section taken out, and reattached with screws.
During the surgery, I just had the type of anethesia where I was out for 5 minutes or so while they numbed my foot, then I was awake and talking during the entire surgery. That part was very strange, but it didn't bother me. It made it so much easier after surgery, as I often get sick from anesthesia. I was in recovery and wide awake and feeling great this time. Didn't have any pain until that night when the numbness wore off my foot. I had Darvacet for pain, but it didn't even touch my pain. So, unfortunately, I had a lot of pain that first night because no pharmacies are open 24 hours here, so I had to wait until the morning to get a different prescription. In the meantime, the next morning the Darvacet began making me violently ill. So that was not good. By early afternoon it was all out of my system, and the new prescription for Vicadin began working. It controlled the pain if I took 2 of them, but then I got another side effect that can happen with pain meds-horrible itching all over. I thought I would scratch my skin off, so I tried to cut back on the pain meds, but at that point I still wasn't able to, so I added Benedryl to the list of meds I was taking. Still itched, but not as bad, and I've now been able to cut back to 1 Vicadin every 4 hours. With this dose, I don't itch, and I'm much more coherent.
Today is the first day I've been up for more than 5 minutes at a time. It's nice being out of bed, but I still have to sit with my foot elevated most of the time. I know it's getting better as each day goes by, and the doctor said I'd see a big improvement this next week. I'm going to try to read this next week-I think I've seen enough TV to last me for a while.
And here's a photo of Bella. With all of the different things going on in the house, the poor thing was just so worn out. And where did she decide she needed to be? Right next to my foot, on the soft squishy pillows.
One more thing-you're not going to see a lot of blog entries from me in the next week. I will participate in some of my ongoing groups, like Sunday Salad Samplers, but will be late with my posts. No standing on my feet cooking for a while.
This year, I am really trying to get healhy. For me, that means losing some weight and exercising more. The losing weight part is a struggle for me because I love to cook. And while I think I eat healthy the majority of the time, I know I eat too much food. When trying to lose weight, I normally try to do it by not cutting out everything unhealthy, just cutting back and trying to eat a little less. But I generally don't lose much. I am trying to lose 20-25 pounds, and this time I'm doing it differently-I'm counting calories. I figure that even if I don't do it forever, it gives me a better idea of what I can eat in a day and lose. You know the saying-calories in, calories out. I started on Jan. 1 and I have lost 7 pounds so far.
The struggle that comes with this is what to do with my blog. I have belonged to several cooking groups that I post about-Daring Bakers, Daring Cooks, and our Sunday Whatever (it is now Sunday Slow Suppers). I dearly hate to give those up, but for now I am not following any recipes, I am eating mainly oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, a turkey wrap for lunch, yogurt and fruit for a snack, and fish or chicken, along with vegetables and a salad for dinner. Maybe a little quinoa if I've exercised hard that day. Not really anything to put on a food blog. So I"ve posted one recipe since the holidays, and it was one I made over the holidays. I might go back and repost some of the recipes I've posted in the past. I'm still not sure. I do know that I'm not too motivated to work on the blog while I'm not cooking, but I don't want to give it up all-together. So bear with me during this period as I figure things out. And if anyone has any suggestions on what they'd like to see me do, by all means let me know.
I've been blogging for several years now, but for anyone who visited my blog, you probably noticed I had a very user non-friendly blog. I never set up categories or tags for my entries. If you were looking for something on my blog, you could type in a word and do a search, but just to browse, you had to do it by month.
I decided that while I had a little extra time, I was going to fix this. I spent 8 hours today going through all of my posts (over 400 of them) and adding categories and tags to them all. You can now click on a category like Alaska, Food, Travel, etc. to see the blog posts under each. Or you can get more specific and look under the tags to see items such as fish, cakes, cookies, bears, etc.
I hope that if you've visited before but not spent any time on the blog, you'll do a little browsing now and find something that might be of interest.