Thursday, July 28, 2016

Bon Attempts

I had thoughts of crispy hot chicken, Nashville style like Trish Yearwood did it but not sure where the fail happened. Firstly I am not a big fan of her recipes but this caught my eye. I think the biggest mistake besides not cutting the chicken thin enough, was double dipping the chicken the way she did it.  To be honest I thought the coating was too thick and gummy and it was okay that night but the leftovers were not so great. Must have been bad because my number one critic, who normally does not eat the breading, picked this off right directly. The surprise was the thighs I used stayed  moist and tender through the cooking process.

So more of a fail than a hit. Fried chicken needs to be left to the pros. I can make a great panko breaded cutlet but that flour/ cornstarch coating seems to elude me.

Lately we have not been eating all that much. I grilled some chicken with smoke last weekend and that was pretty good. Enough left for Brenda to take on salads. I used a Sriracha rub that I mixed with vinegar and oil to coat the crispy skin.  That worked pretty well. I like this rub for chicken and will use it again just as a rub to see if I can get more flavor out of it.

  We have a new market in town called Fresh Thyme. Very nice kind of a cross between Trader Joe's and Natural Grocers. Lots of nice specials on items, weird hippy dippy stuff, great produce and a small wine section. I bought shrimps there for $5.99 a pound for 16-20 size. Not bad, right?   We eat a ton of shrimp and since it's been fairly cheap here, quite often.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Lemon Yellow Squash Bread

We have an abundance of yellow squash in the garden so time to get busy. Not exactly the healthiest way to consume your veggies but certainly a  tasty and delicious way to. 

The recipe come from Heather Christo's blog.

Recipe: Lemon Summer Squash Bread

makes 2 loaves


  • -1 cup melted butter (I used 1/2 butter, 1/2 veg oil)
-2 ¼ cups sugar
  • -¼ cup plus 2 Tbs lemon juice
-2 tsp lemon zest
  • -3 eggs
  • I added 1/2 c Greek Yogurt
-3 cups flour
  • -1 tsp salt
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp baking powder
-2 ½ cups grated summer squash (or zucchini)
  • Opt: add 1 cup blueberries too
-1/2 cup powdered sugar
-3tsp of lemon juice


  1. 1)Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two loaf pans with baking spray.
  2. 2)Melt the butter in a small pan.
  3. 3)Combine the sugar and lemon juice and zest in a mixing bowl.
  4. 4)Add the butter and mix to combine.
  5. 5)Add the eggs one at a time and beat until the batter is light and fluffy, (about 2-3 minutes.)
  6. 6)Meanwhile combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  7. 7)Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and barely combine into a batter.
  8. 8)Add the grated squash and mix until just combined.
  9. 9)Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a spatula.
  10. 10)Bake the bread at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
  11. 11)Take the bread out and let cool until the pan is just cool enough to handle.
  12. 12)While the bread is cooling you want to make the lemon glaze.
  13. 13)Add the 1 Tbs of butter to a small pan and melt it.
  14. 14)Remove the pan from the heat and add the 3tsp of lemon juice. Whisk to combine.
  15. 15)Add the powdered sugar and whisk to combine.
  16. 16)Add the water to thin it to the right consistency.
  17. 17)Turn the loaf out (upside down or “right” side up is just fine!)
  18. 18)Drizzle the glaze over the top of the loaf.
  19. 19)Slice and serve, this cake is great warm or room temperature!
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Old Friends....

Last night, Brenda and I  had assumed our usual position in the backyard in our comfortable chairs listening to the same old playlist and marveling at the peace and quiet of the neighborhood despite the new kids who have moved into the neighborhood.

A couple of fellows appeared at the side gate, waving. Turns out my old friend Steve was in town who met my other old friend, Steve and the decided to look me up. I can't tell you the last time I was more pleasantly surprised

We talked for hours (or did I talk for hours?) and reminisced about our school days as we all attended the UNO Fine Arts program in the 70's together, sharing studio space and our lives with each other.

Stephen Cornelius Roberts is a famous guy. He painted the state capitol dome and has a ton of work out and about and a great public figure and fantastic painter. Steve Bendy (Bendykowski) is also a  great painter but lives in Des Moines.  We lost touch when he left school but have caught up a bit since.Bendy drove a cool little car, introduced me to Steely Dan and the Guess Who and his lovely bride cut my hair.

I cannot tell you how fun this gathering was and how much more I need to learn about my long lost friends.
I am so excited to think about meeting up again!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Happiest Birthdays

Mackenzie gave Nick tickets to a Royals game for his birthday Saturday and then arranged a tailgating for the rest of us. I was in charge of the kebabs since we rarely do the ordinary. I brought a few dogs for Benny and made kebabs for the rest of us. We are tailgating virgins, so a few key items were forgotten like matches to light the grill.

Hottest day on the tarmac in KC and relentless sweating ensued. I was never so happy to jump into a cool shower at home but I was so tired after the 6 hours of driving and my back was killing me from the stadium seats. Sunscreen saved the day and a light Pho supper after the game made for some great decisions.

We choose chicken and steak for the meal. I used a nice set of tri tip steaks and a few chicken breasts and thighs. Brenda suggested cooking the meat, a least partially so we would not have a long cooking time as I was unsure about the grill we were using. Turns out this small Weber gas grill was a really nice little unit. It got very hot quickly and placed a nice sear on the finished product.

I choose to Sous Vide the meats first which, as you know, brings the meat to a perfectly cooked temp and no more. This worked better than you could imagine. The meat was tender and juicy and cooked through while the veggies got just the right amount of char and doneness.

After the meat was cut up (I placed the meat whole in the Sous Vide) we threaded it on bamboo skewers with onions, peppers, and mushroom and then into a gallon bag to which I added the marinade. Sounds backwards doesn't it? It turned out great. Really great. Nicely browned steak chunks, super tender and tasty with the marinade. The chicken followed suit. We made a delicious antipasto salad with oil and vinegar avoiding the hassle of a mayo dressing. 

The marinade for the beef:

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup Olive oil
3 T soy sauce
1 T Lemon juice
1 T Dijon Mustard
2 t Brown sugar
2 t black pepper

For the Chicken:

Jiuice one whole lemon
1/4 C Olive oil
1 t Oregano
Salt and Pepper

So...tailgating? A success with the kindness of strangers who had a few matches. Other missed items? Tongs would have been nice to remove the meat of a stick from the searing grill. All in all though it was a nice gift and really great time to spend with family.

Oh yeah...the Royals won!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Too Hot to Cook...

Many thanks to the Schaben clan for suppling this beautiful bird. I intended to grill it but after the blast of heat headed out the back door I roasted it in the toaster oven instead. Came out great after brining for a few hours. Pair that golden bird with some sauteed sprouts and a strip of leftover bacon and ...yum.
Looking foward to a great harvest this year. We have several yellow squash and zucchini ready to pick and a few tomatoes are set. 


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