Tag Archives: I did what?

excuses for no excuse


In all honesty there is no excuse for my not writing once a week, I missed last week even though I DESPERATLY wanted to get on here and type my tiny little heart out however my day job amped up AND my business amped up at the same time not to mention the family stuff and plain ol fatigue.

I do have several things to write about (if I haven’t already mentioned my hand), I did attempt this Friday night when I was waiting for a very old and dear and VERY pregnant friend for coffee. In which I was using the tiniest keyboard I have ever used which makes my fingers look like sausages and I am constantly pressing the wrong buttons then as she walked in the door I too quickly closed the page and thus my painstaking hard work and tiny words were lost in the underverse of the internets. (insert LONG sympathetic sigh here).

Finally here I am several days late explaining why I am so late. The other factor is, I almost have to be in the mood (which I am so often in the WRONG situation) and of course my best ideas strike right when I am stressed and in the middle of something VERY important. I am glad I was never commissioned for anything like Michalangelo was, I would never get anything done. The ceiling of the Sistine would be a sun dyed white to date. Alas I am here and I am writing that counts for something right??? As mom always said “No excuses”  and in all honesty there is no such thing as a good excuse. The fact is I should have remained committed to both blogs and wrote my heart out no matter the hour in the evening. So my dear flakies I apologise for my absence.

Well my nights in the kitchen have been interesting to say the least, I nearly sliced off my hand, I screamed and swore at pizza dough and I burned my face off 3 times in one week. It was BAD, for some reason most of the fam didn’t mind what I called “epic fails” they liked the extra heat in my dishes and no one died so that is a good sign too. In nearly slicing off my hand the knife skills I was teaching myself went by the wayside, I was attempting at halving a butternut squash in half to stuff with vegetarian chili luckily hubs was there to point out I was about to cut my hand off, and in a nasty way because I also discovered cutting a squash, let alone 3 of them, is really tough business.

I have since learned from my dear facebook friends (who occasionally are a wealth of knowledge when they aren’t being absolutly hysterical on thier status updates) that if you ask the produce department very nicely they will go and cut the squash for you.

I learned that one cannot substitute chipotle chili powder for regular chili powder, it doesn’t even subsitute when you halve it. Whenever one sticks it in the dish it will end up burning my face off (for spicey heat wimps like me).

Be wary of zests and how much you put in. I’ve experimented with lemons, limes and now oranges (the latter being the WORST) and always pay special attention to just how much fresh zest to put in the dish. I recommend that when orange zest and sweet potato are to be mixed with sour cream AND butter just to ignore the orange part…. and maybe the sour cream. I can’t describe what happened in my mouth though I don’t think anything can be as bad as a durian. (Apologies to those who love the durian!)

When making your favorite soup, don’t make it if you don’t have what you need to give it actual flavor, I ended up with beans in slightly flavored water which wasn’t appetizing at all.

Did I mention DON’T **&(^*^&%$ with orange zest?

So always make sure your knives are sharp, cut away from yourself, don’t stick your hand under the blade. Don’t mess with orange zest, its more punch in a teaspoon than Brock Lesner. To burn your face-off add copious amounts of Chipotle Chili powder to recipes that call for regular chili powder. If there are no parmesan cheese rinds, fresh thyme, or rosemary about, skip the soup (if it is a veggie or light chicken flavored one).

And the best part, make time for your friends, tell the ones you love them and say something positive to yourself and someone who needs it. Which in my experience is everyone.

Happy Eating!

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More catastrophes, near misses & pant-seat-flying coming your way!


Hello my dear unburnt, golden, lightly toasted, and charcoaled cornflakes (or should I write “readers”….. nah!) I am making an announcement.

I have once again signed myself up for an impossible task… well not impossible but something I am HOPING to successfully complete and will have fun doing. It’s not writing another novel in a month (afterall it is not November).

I am undertaking the WordPress challenge and will be posting once a week. So brace yourselves, lets hope I won’t cook up a tornado, burn the house down, and have to many mental breakdowns over food, writing, writing on food, food on writing moments.

With some luck I will keep you interested and neither of us fall off the plate like that meatball who tumbled into the garden.

Let the noshing commence!!

 

The 18 were stuffed like a Christmas turkey….


Well Christmas has come and passed, all that planning, prepping, cooking, stressing is over and I am almost at a loss without so many people inside my tiny little house. We had 18 people on Christmas day and what a day it was. I was SUPER stressed however for the first Christmas in my life I DIDN’t have a melt down. (Call the guinness book of world records, it is a date in history!!) I had a lot of help from hubs, my sister in law, my kids, thier kids, mom, dad, and probably even the cat!

It. was. amazing.

I am so grateful to have a great and supportive family and what made it even more awesome is I don’t think I said “Oh Sh*t!” once while cooking dinner…. but don’t quote me on that one. 🙂

Not all of it went down as smooth as ice however it went over pretty good. What helped was a few days before company arrived I cooked my “Clint Eastwood Style Chili (which mom aptly named “Chili for wimps” <– mom I have changed the recipe) and for the FIRST time ever it did not burn my face off. (Are you calling Guinness yet? There is another one for the history books)

Secondly ALL the help I had: My sister in law helping me cut, chop, prep, season, stir, mix, advise, check, double check, fix, refix everything I was doing. It saved my life. My mom doing Christmas baking so I would have enough cookies to go around, she even blessed us with her butter tarts AND melt in your mouth shortbread (I love you mom). My dad bringing over the extra stuff I decided I needed on Christmas day ON Christmas Day (a toaster oven, meat thermometer). Both my folks for helping me with the vegetarian dishes, turns out we had LOTS with what I added to it. The kids for helping stir, sort, organise, clean, check and recheck & smash things for baking. As well as clean up like taking out the gabages and dishes and so forth.

Thirdly and most importantly: The whole family having balls (and stomachs) of steel for being willing to eat something I had never attempted before.

For those about to rock (eat) we salute you.

So what did I make??

December 24 after dinner myself, my S.I.L. and kids from all families helped me do my Christmas baking…. 5 hours of it. (I am a slow one in the kitchen, mom will never let me forget!)

  • Gingerbread CupCakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Double Chocolate Brownies with Chocolate chips
  • Apple Pie
  • Pumpkin Pie (x2) made with ice cream

December 25 (the big day for the 18!)

  • Hors ‘d’ouvres –>Vegetarian Samosas, vegetarian spring rolls, spinach & feta spanakopia, mini meat balls, sausage rolls, chips and dip, veggies and dip, crackers with cream cheese and spicy red pepper jelly, assorted cookies and treats (homemade and store bought) Artichoke & Asiago cheese puffs (care of my sister)
  • Turkey – approx 7.6 kg. Cooked over root vegetables, fresh herbs and some broth. I also put an onion and more fresh herbs up its bum to add more flavor.
  • Stuffing – not from scratch. From a box.
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Corn, Carrots, Peas, beans.
  • Buns
  • Broccoli Casserole (Care of mom)
  • Roasted Veggies (Care of mom)
  • Fresh Gravy (made from the broth and drippings (not droppings!) from the bird)
  • Cranberry jelly

Dessert:

  • Pumpkin Pies (x2)
  • Apple Pie
  • Gingerbread Snaps (care of Sister)
  • Sugar Cookies (Care of Mom)
  • Gingerbread Cupcakes
  • Double Chocolate Brownies
  • Ice Cream – Vanilla and Stawberry

And that is how you stuff 18 people like a Christmas turkey!!!!

There were plenty of leftovers, so we could have fit about 4 more people at our table and had them well fed as well. I should mention 4 of the people at our table are older teens/young adults (male) with hearty appetites as well as all the members of the families having healthy appetites. So having left-overs and in the quantities there were is amazing.

We had a big setback, we  planned dinner for about 230 pm however I don’t think we ended up eating until past 4 due to the bird. Not sure what went wrong as everyone said they had never seen it happen before: One leg and part of one side of the bird did not cook on time so we had to keep taking it out and putting it back in again. We don’t know if it was an element, the way I cooked/positioned it in the oven, or if it was the oven itself (its not convection). Luckily we had enough nibbles to keep the hungry monsters at bay. A lot of patience and several people inside who knew a lot about cooking turkeys. A good back up plan is to get the Barbeque ready. Speaking of BBQ the one thing I defrosted and prepped for turkey dinner were ribs and cornbread however time and oven space dictated they be removed from the menu. Good thing we did or we would have been screwed for table and stomach space.

Other things I learned: I learned what a turkey baster was, what it does and how to use it. Yes I am 28 years old and had NO idea what that was. I also learned what the neck, heart and giblets look like from inside the turkey (I nearly fainted, I have an aversion to birds…cooking them… mostly because all I can see are them strutting around outside when I am trying to cook them). I also learned how to get the most out of your turkey thanks to advise from mom, the S.I.L and the people over at Stirr for posting on thier facebook page how to make Turkey Soup. But it was a big thanks to HUBs for making it. I don’t think I could have made it as the carcass was grossing me out.

This is what he did (I helped with the veggies):

What you will need:

  • leftover turkey carcass, GIGANTIC pot, stove, water. Anything you want to toss into the soup for flavoring.

He put the carcass in a HUGE pot of boiling water and just boil the meat off the bones. He had it on there for hours (I am pretty sure) remove the carcass and any fallen off bones.

Next add what you like for flavoring here is what we did:

  • leftover roasted root vegetables (carrots, celery, parsnips, onions)
  • leftover regular vegetables (carrots, peas, corn, green beans)
  • leftover gravy
  • added 4 more carrots, 1 parsnip, a turnip, and an onion
  • One outside Rind of Fresh Parmesan Cheese
  • a sprig of fresh rosemary (just toss it in, the leaves will fall off in the cooking process)
  • a sprig of fresh thyme (again, toss it in the leaves will fall off and you can pull the stick out later)
  • one bay leaf (remove before consuming)
  • a sprinkling of Montreal Vegetable seasoning
  • a squished clove of garlic

Let this bubble for a while (30-40 minutes or until the veggies soften) then you can serve (this makes TONS OF SOUP) or what I did was I put aside a HUGE container of the soup for a healthy meal in the future and then put some in single serving dishes and froze for lunches. With a lot still left over I reserved the rest in a smaller soup pot and placed in the fridge which has given us several lunches and dinners of turkey soup.

What is great is there was no loss of nutritional value as everything was cooked with itself, nothing was strained or drained (granted the saturated fats are probably up there but so is the value of the good stuff) and it made the dollar value of Christmas dinner become VERY economical. So really it is an all around win.

Now with all the visiting relatives gone, I am missing everyone DEARLY. It is like the house (as small as it is) is empty. It really made me see how much I love and care about my family members.

I hope all your Christmas’s, holidays, festivities and food adventures are full of wonderful things.

 

From my table to yours, happy eating.

 

xoxoxo

 

Breaking Boundaries and an introduction to Josephine.


I find I keep marking the opening to my posts as “It has been a while since…” which must be getting a bit tiresome.

I apologise, I do not have set writing days in my calendar, with the life I lead I take time where I can get it. Let’s face it I do put a lot more on my plate when I am eating and in life which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I am a full time parent to 6 kids, a long distance grannie, I have a full time career complete with a 1.5 hr commute. I’m a business owner (and co-owner of another company with hubs) I read, I write, I cook, I spend time with my family, visiting with friends, I recently started up crocheting (though all I did was crotchet myself into a circle) and of course I am also enslaved by a very cute feline.

Have I mentioned I am not 30 yet?? LOL Yes I have one grey hair, and I named her Josephine, we chat, we do coffee, Josephine and I are close, for a human and her grey hair.

So in short on the “un-busiest” of days I am busy.

Regardless I am forever breaking my own boundaries in food whether it be trying a new ingredient, a new dish, a different cooking style or sampling something I have never tried before. I am a bit obsessed with food and I do get really panicky in the kitchen, most people seem natural and at ease whilst cooking away, in my house it is a bit of a gong show. I’ve written before of the interesting language floating out of the room and some of the interesting food that has landed on our families plates and once “tweeted” about my encounter with a durian candy. So when I “break my boundaries” I do it in great fear, always and it doesn’t stop when I turn the burner off, I continue to worry about it LONG after it is done. I probably come across as a complete nervous wreck half of the time and a wild crazy gypsy woman the other half (have you heard me cackle?? I took lessons from mom).

Where do I begin breaking these boundaries? It starts with a recipe and then completely screwing it up by accident or on purpose and serving the end result. So it starts with me and ends with the family, and luckily so far they still love me, will still sit down at our table and eat my (or our) food. I’ve started introducing more meat free dishes into the weekly menu, I find that meat gets too much of the “celebrity status” during the big shows and I want to kind of prove that veggies (or legumes), lentils and playing with herbs can make something amazing. So far no complaints, and NO leftovers which has shocked even me. Mostly I’ve been serving up soups: Caterpillar Soup, Ginger Carrot Soup, Tomato and bean;  I made vegetarian calzones and those were a HUGE hit and now I am looking for the perfect vegetarian lasagne!

My most recent discovery has been the turnip, wow is it ever good? The smell and flavour of fresh ginger and I ate a parsnip raw which was pretty good too. Sounds like pretty plain stuff but to me it was exotic having been grown up on wholesome British/Canadian/Maltese home cookin. Mom tried to get me to try things as a kid and as far as I can remember I wasn’t happy about it, then again, what kid is? Next on the trials is going to be butternut squash, there is this macaroni dish I have been itching to try.

Now I challenge you to pick one thing out of the produce aisle you have either never tried, cooked and give it a shot! Let me know how it goes!!

Happy Eating!

 

ps- as for the durian candy, the aftertaste stayed with me after I ate, into the evening, into the night. And I kept burping it up. I suppose I should mention I didn’t even EAT the candy, I spat it out after 5 chews!

the next morning…


Okay folks, I am no longer intoxicated by any means. I’ve been to the gym, read a few bummer  e mails, drank 1 of 2 coffees and there was no hangover… surprisingly a miracle happened and I sprung out of bed this morning which NEVER happens because I AM THE farthest thing from a morning person. I am still bummed my post from last night disappeared into the vast space of nothingness in which many words take a sudden violent unexpected and unexplainable death (don’t get me started on what I see posted online sometimes….*shiver*)

So it all started yesterday at somepoint when I decided to make Philly Cheesesteak (which would be 730 am enroute to the office) I see it all over the place and figured… can’t be that hard.   About 230-3 pm I realise….. eff do I have everything I need???? On the way home I knew we needed hoagie buns in a bad way……So I get home from work after 6pm and I realise that the steaks that were taken out of the freezer that morning were still frozen, I thought…. no big deal…. I spent forever looking for the needed ingredients, I had already sent hubs out the door for buns which is what I thought was the only thing I was missing…. it was not. Thank goodness for parents living close by. I chopped the garlic, squished some more, chopped the onions and red pepper, things were going great despite the fact that poor baby had no one to play with and was desperate to get my attention so she was clamoring onto me the WHOLE evening. I came up with a genius idea (#1 of the evening) and requested our 12 year old put her boombox in the kitchen, well my and babies amusement with the music lasted about 2 minutes…. then came genius idea #2….in order to amuse her I gave her a big can of Graduates peach things which I know she loves…. well while I am elbow deep in cutting up raw beef she decides to dump the ENTIRE contents of the floor. Well the wine was already uncorked & I had already poured me a smallish glass (and by glass I really mean a fancy kids plastic cup) I took a swig &  got myself cleaned up to take care of the cracker fiasco that occurred all over the kitchen floor, took the giant bottle of crackers away from baby and gave her a bowl full of peachy cracker thingys (of course was promptly spread all over the floor again) but on the plus side she stayed amused for a long while.

I had to get back to cookin’. I finally got the beef all cut up (Dad popped by to drop off the missing OXO I needed!! Thanks pop!) and started to “caramelize” the slivers of beef. (I had no idea how to caramelize beef or even what it meant….) I spent ages doing batches and batches of this…. only to realise as I finished the last batch up & was reading to figure out my next step… “Cook over high heat for 3 minutes” ….. more wine. Baby became not amused anymore by tasty crackers and was wanting me again…. another diversion needed “AH paper towel” here yah go baby, which she discovered bopping things with paper towl was fun followed by the “unravelling”. I had a kitchen covered in crackers AND paper towel, with of course the bowls and cook books she had pulled out of the cupboards …. did I mention there was a chair in there too… yeah there was a chair I had to also dodge as I scurried about the place. … more wine. What is the time….. 8:15… what the??? I was STILL cooking….and hubs just got back from the store (the man is a saint and did a little more than just picked up buns, he did some re-stocking…. bless him)  830 rolled around and I finally finished cookin the veggies, making the sauce and then dumping everything in (sloppily) the sauce to make it all more flavorful…. or something to that effect.

The end result was a philly cheesesteak dinner with a sauce made a little to heavy on the wine (I added more glugs after the requirement) on untoasted buns (they were supposed to be toasted, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with cheese and retoasted) with a very intoxicated me. Hence… attempting to blog after drinking….. not a good idea.

Which pretty much brings me to today.

Oh and I happened to go onto facebook and talk a lot about balls on someone’s page afterwhich I started singing upstairs which is the most awful sound in the world. Think of screetching cats = me singing. *shivers*

The night of flying spatula; A tale of Evil Chicken and giving up.


 Alas it has yet again been a long while since one of my slices from the kitchen; let me tell you it has been a bustle of activity at the ol’ homestead. I blame it slightly on the kids getting back to school; starting up a new home business and just being plain disorganized with a large helping of absent mindedness.

The whole thing starts with a printer, a brand new shiny colour printer and I was SO excited to use it. So I took the weeks menu (something I dread doing and struggle with continuously) which is usually covered in chicken scratch, bits of food, cross outs, arrows and other random doodles and phone messages, opened up my fancy pants laptop and made a professional menu, gave our kitchen a snazzy restaurant style name and in the price column I replaced the dollar amounts with page numbers. I printed it off and proudly displayed my hard work on the fridge. We had Beer Braised Chicken (evil chicken), Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup (which turned into a stoup), grilled steaks with crispy shrooms (which we ended up ditching the shrooms), Chicken Francese (which was all around DE-LIC-IOUS!) and Taco Stoup served with Taco Salad (which I only ended up making yesterday and was soooooooo delicious).

The beer braised chicken (I’ve aptly renamed “Evil Chicken”) looked easy enough, few ingredients and what seemed like a few fairly straight forward instructions. I was to cook bacon in a big pot and set aside, then take the boneless skinless chicken breasts in the big pot (my first mistake = pot not big enough) after lightly flouring them and cook them in the bacon fat. Really simple, however I forgot that (1) I had more chicken thighs than square inches of cooking space (2) I had more chicken thighs than the recipe called for (3) I didn’t read the instructions CLEARLY enough. Which was to cook the dang thing in batches, instead I tried stuffing all the thighs into one pot, which ended up not getting the desired cooking effects, instead of lightly browned we got very burned, and in the process lost lots of the floury coating that would help seal in the juices for braising. Then when you add more things to the cooking surface you are supposed to adjust the cooking times because the added chicken thighs steal the heat from the other chicken thighs so if I had the proper amount of chicken thighs to begin with the browning process SHOULD have taken 5-8 minutes.

Well 5-8 minutes gone and passed…. Then 10…. Then 15… Around the 30 minute mark I was huffing and puffing (though not blowing any piggies houses down) getting more frustrated by the minute. Hubs came and started helping me turn over the chicken thighs, I was one cranky cat, I was swearing and then re-read the instructions where I discovered another “oops” by learning to cook them in batches.

Swearing at myself I quit. I completely gave up, I was SO angry, I was crying, frustrated and my feet HURT from standing in the kitchen for over an hour. A meal that was supposed to only take 30minutes had passed the hour mark and we only just started the braising process, I added all the remaining ingredients (again discovering I was supposed to cook the onions and other veg with the chicken first), I literally DUMPED in the beer as the last ingredient. Quit once again and retired for the evening.

I was beyond P-O’d. I heard that the dinner was good, though very beer-y (I added too much beer) Hubs had helped and finished the dish without so much as breaking a sweat or furrowing a brow. He came to my rescue when I needed him too, listened to my frustrations, tried to get me to NOT stress about it (impossible), dodged a flying spatula (or three) and became my knight with a shining spatula for the evening. The recipe got the better of me this time though it is defiantly on the “DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT DOING THIS AGAIN” pile, and I scoff at the magazines headline “Cook like a star” thinking, “imagine if I had a camera crew filming my mishaps, I’d have more bleeps in one episode than Gordon Ramsay. Then of course the network would probably want some sort of cook off between the two of us and it would end up being some sort of cursing competition. In which the end result would be me holding up some sort of burned looking concoction and him with some fancy froo froo dish looking all smug.”Bugger it”. *sigh* All in a nights work.

On a happy note all the other dishes I made ended up being scrumptious.

Happy Eating!

Hammer Time.


I’ve been a blogging delinquent this week mostly for the fact I have been reading in the evenings or going to bed early.

First off the deity of food must have had me in their favor as on Monday I have been offered a course at “Stirr” which of course I will be writing about my time there and its utter awesomeness as well as the interesting things I learned, and probably a few things I screwed up along the way. I am beyond excited! You may have noticed I have a special knack of making at least ONE mistake in the kitchen. I call it “Fly by the seat of my pants specials”…. Well not out loud, I say that in my head pretty much all the time. It’s almost my motto and it just makes life that much more interesting. Did I mention fun?! Add that in too!  

Secondly on Tuesday I got a message I won a barbeque. I entered 3 different draws for a barbeque in April, May and July from Trail Appliances, Presidents Choice and BroadView Homes. I won the one I entered in July from Broadview Homes, we pick up our awesome barbeque on Sunday and we are sooooooo looking forward to breaking that baby in!  (Which reminds me I must tell you about the first time I grilled something, another post idea! *pats self on back*) Then on Tuesday I made this Dijon Pork Sirloin with a green bean and lemon potatoe salad which despite my few mistakes was DELICIOUS. Then on Wednesday despite the mistakes, I made a great Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken. So I have a few little stories to fill up some space with, the most being about the adventure making the absolutely delicious roasted lemony chicken. 

Wednesday had been a long day I dropped hubs off at home to start cutting the mini potatoes for the recipe “Skillet Rosemary Chicken” which I got out of the “Weekday Cooking” section of Food Network Magazine, May 2010 issue. (I’ll have to post the recipe later as I don’t have it with me at the moment because I am so awesomely un-prepared.)  I went to pick up sweet baby and came home to very neatly cut mini red potatoes sitting in the pot waiting to be boiled, he did a way better job than I do, and I had a small sensation of potato envy.  I got my scatterbrained self to work trying to give hubs proper direction for what the recipe called. “We need a pan, no a skillet, no not that one, nope not that one either, the heavy one at the bottom that mom gave me, YEAH THAT ONE” (side note: I love my cast iron skillet, mom gave it to me and it is made in France. I feel like a food snob when I pull it out, which so far has been twice….. side note to the side note: that last sentence is so punny) (side note number 2: because of having to 1.5X the recipe the ingredients didn’t all fit in that pan and when it came to putting it all together for oven roasting time I had to transfer it to a 9×13 oven pan which was still too small as everything was precariously piled and teetering off, I said many prayers that nothing would fall and start an oven in the fire) At this point I can imagine my mom telling me to “stop digressing and just get on with it!”  I love that woman she is so direct and always finishes everything she starts. I trait I did not inherit.  

Let’s get back to me not being able to get my head around a simple recipe from the kids point of view they could probably only pick up the “Oh Sh*ts” and “Oops” and “Oh whoops I was supposed to put that in first!” I imagine sometimes they must be just terrified at what might be waiting for them at the table.  I was supposed to chop up some garlic, get rosemary leaves off the fresh rosemary “twigs/sprigs” and add some salt then mash. Sounds fairly simple right?? Well working with fresh rosemary to me is like working with pine needles. I have no idea how to mash these things into a paste and after this whole experience I still don’t. My first thought was “Dam I don’t have a mortar and pestle thingy….hmmm…. what can I use in place.” I swear one could literally see one of those vintage Thomas Edison light bulbs go off above my head (which if that really happened it would be great because the light bulbs in the kitchen keep blowing) I remembered the tenderizer I bought a few months back for this awesome pork tenderloin bathed in buttermilk and covered in kettle cooked potato chips. For those of you who like me didn’t know what this is, it’s a hammer with pointy bits on the end used to “tenderize” meat for cooking. Quite frankly I call it the best stress relief in the world. They need to rename and remarket that as “Therapy” for 9.99 at SuperStore. (As this blog goes on I am sure you will hear my great love for SuperStore and Joe clothes, as well as how much I LOVE grocery shopping)

Anyhow I grab that lovely hammer mabober and head to the kitchen table. The spot where I cut things up on the counter is on this awesome glass thing my mom & dad bought hubs and I for Christmas that is like a cutting board and measuring thing all in one.  (Side note: our family is renowned for their practical gifts, I have a few great stories about that too)  So there I am at the kitchen table, I had put the garlic, rosemary and salt into a sandwich baggy and they were ready for a pounding.  So I started hammering & kept on hammering. The garlic was getting pulverized, the salt I couldn’t even see it anymore (I use sea salt granules) the rosemary??? Well that is a different story; they were still in their needle form. So, I beat the bag even more. I got mad. I swear I could hear the garlic begging for me to stop but I am a stubborn woman and the beats just kept on coming. Rosemary is one stubborn cow; no matter what I did it was determined to stay a needle.  I gave off a swear (or two) and threw the pulverized (and non pulverized) contents of the baggy into the bowl with the juice from 2 lemons and olive oil. I added the chicken and threw it into the skillet.

Upon returning to the kitchen table where the herb abusing took place I discovered I busted the table. I put these great divots into the table from the bobbley end of the mallet. So lesson learned, if you are going to beat the heck out of something whether it is meat or some unsuspecting herb, put a cutting board underneath and save your table! Your table will thank you! Or…. buy a concrete table. Problem solved.

You may have noticed I missed Thursday and Mondays meals, well I know you all will be jealous of what I didn’t make on those days, Wendy’s Burgers and Hot Dogs with Macaroni and Cheese respectively.  What did the kids notice about those days “Hey, I just realized we aren’t eating at 8 o’clock” When I cook anything even though the recipe’s say “20 minutes” it usually takes me about 1.5-2 hrs to get anything on the table. My mom can attest to that with my “Muffin” story which I have been badgering her to write for this blog.

I’ll post the recipes for both the pork tenderloin and the chicken up here when I have them at hand. Despite my stories they are really easy and scrumptious recipes to master and as you can see from my mistakes it is hard to mess up because everything has turned out great despite not making things into a great mushy paste to create a rub or missing an ingredient or two. The keys are to improvise and have fun and defiantly laugh about it later.

Happy Eating my dear friends!