Friday, February 29, 2008

TOMALE PIE





I found the original recipe printed in a Sunday edition of the Anchorage paper that came to Barrow a day later. That recipe called for two pounds of breakfast steak and a cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. I have changed a few things over the years;

2 pounds ground turkey
1 green bell pepper roasted
1 yellow bell pepper roasted
1 red bell pepper roasted. Roast, seed and chop the peppers, set aside to add later.
1 chopped medium to large onion
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup chopped tomatoes or can of tomato paste cut with a cup of wine (I like White Zinfandel)
1 whole chopped jalapeno pepper, take off seeds and membranes to cool the heat level.
I have found that freezing them actually changes the heat quotient so I chop one whole frozen one.
1 can black olives, slice in half (checking for pits don't cha know)

Mix separately 1 cup corn meal in 2 cups water, add one container ricotta cheese, blend well, add two eggs into the mix and blend well. Set aside to be mixed in with the browned turkey and vegetables and seasonings.

One package frozen onion rings.

Brown the turkey, add chopped onions, chopped peppers, garlic, olives, can of tomatoes or paste cut with wine, once this has mixed together well you can simmer a few minutes in order to do a quick wash up of dishes. Add the corn meal, egg and ricotta cheese mixture to turkey and veggies.

Pour combined mixture into a large casserole dish. Bake in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. At 40 minutes top with bag of frozen onion rings and bake another 20 minutes. It cooks up a bit soft and sets up very nicely the next day. Makes your house smell wonderful which also drives the kitties slightly nutz.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Happy Birthday, Elfen



Happy Birthday little sister! What are you five or six now? I lose count. The choices a person must make as a leap year baby, do I celebrate on the 28th? March 1st? Or both just in case.

Elfen is my nearest in age little sister, she weighed in at less than 5 lbs and Mom dressed her in doll clothes for quite a while. She made up for her size in many ways as she grew older. She's little but she's mighty.

It's not easy finding Leap Year birthday cards and this one is just perfect because it is the elder sister's chance to add a little torture as well. Frogs in any shape, size or color do not thrill the birthday girl. Here's to you kid and don't kiss any frogs!

Many happy more leap year birth days. Love, me.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Upon further thought



Regarding the business of filming "Dies The Fire": Lets change the name. I suggest "The Change". Anyone else?

Also we need to think about purchasing book rights, hiring all the kinds of people who can actually get it done for a price that would not bankrupt a small country.

I think Dream Works or one of those kinds of studio's could do a great deal of the backdrop work on computer; the jet crash in downtown Eugene, lots of other things not easily found or staged in real life. I am thinking of Dun McKenzie nd aall those impressively carved logs showing various personalities of the craft.

Need to think about the secondary market as well, action figures, action clothes and "The Change" armory. Bear Killer bows, McKenzie kilts, all those cross bows, and gorgeous horses both large and small.

and MUSIC! I wonder if John Williams would consider composing theme music for the various battles, with a Celtic flavor, a nod to Country, big drums, bagpipes, fiddles etc.

Put your thinking caps on people! We'll have a meeting next week at the Chinese place, I'll get us a room.

Friday, February 22, 2008

THE CHINESE PLACE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS

What a nice surprise! Our contract coder came over from Roseburg today and the business office manager and I went to lunch with her at Yu's Dynasty, open since 2-20-08.

They have done considerable remodeling, new booths, knocked down a wall, new cove ceilings, nice modern light fixtures and boy howdy were they crowded. We got there about 11:45 and stood in line a few minutes. We are eventually seated and ordered. I had the General Tsao's Chicken, nice bit of heat, with pork fried rice and crab rangoon potstickers, hot tea and soup. All for $5.75. Not bad! I certainly enjoyed my meal and look forward to going there again. I have already snaffled down half of my take home. Yummy!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Just a couple of brief updates



That's the price of gas in Coquille...today. Sure glad I don't commute, the aggravation would be aggravatin'.

Also my goods purchased on Ebay came in the mail today, not bad turn around time.

And Mom told me about the earthquake in Wells,Nevada today. Didn't make national news on CBS here only read about it on line at KTVB.com. There is enough construction going on around here with the new water lines that an earthquake would be hard to detect, however, I WOULD notice when all my books tumble out of the book case.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Let's pretend we have a billion bucks to cast



DIES THE FIRE by S.M.Stirling. I would prefer that an Indy company attempt this because it would be SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER that would cure the economy.

Brief recap: The change happened suddenly all over the world for unknown reasons electricity does not work, bullets don't work, steam works about 10% but wood burns and it isn't long before the fuedal system is well on it's way to being re-established um after all the planes crash, millions starve or die of the plague.

Lets pretend that we have unlimited funds on hand to do this picture right with the right people.

Mike Havel, Boss of the Bearkiller outfit, Lord Bear. He is under 6 foot but wearing armor, with a bear head on his helmet riding a horse makes him look a lot bigger. He has dark hair, he is part Finnish, Part Native American. Hmmm Brad Pitt?

Junie McKenzie -- Queen of Witches in Eugene. She is 5 foot 3, red hair, plays fiddle, sings and is a Wiccan. Hmmm Winona Rider?

Norman Arminger -- Lord Protector of Portland. Evil wicked bad and nasty. Need someone large and handsome with an edge. Hmmm Russell Crowe?

Sandra Arminger -- minor character until last book.

Anyone have any other suggestions for casting? Lets do lunch!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

No longer an Ebay virgin


I have been in the habit of purchasing Jovan Musk Oil for Women for um a couple of decades now. It came on the market in the 70's, I first purchased it in the 80's at places like the Bon Marche etc. I like it because one little swipe on the wrist and I am scented for the day. About five years or so I noticed that the only place I could find JMOFW was at Wal(gack)Mart. So I have reluctantly gone there and recently there was NONE to be had. Hmmm, no worries I had three bottles left, very small less than one third ounce bottles mind you. I am now down to one and a half very small less than one third of an ounce bottles. So I decided to GOOGLE the product. Many sites did not even show pictures or wanted to sell me the spray. Not want darn spray! So I went to the EBAY site and found the product I wanted and bid for six bottles and "won" or so the email response says. Now we shall see how the rest of it works as it is coming by mail. Once I have the stuff on hand I will possess enough oil to smell good well into my 80's.

Friday, February 15, 2008

last couple days worth of pictures.



Some pretty Azalea's were sent to me for Heart day. They are not quite in full bloom yet. Thank you, Cupidman.



After much thought and anguish over possibly ordering the wrong size, Cupid man also sent me a Pajama-gram, it is a pretty blue plushy bed shirt and is very warm and cozy and fits very comfortabley.



They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Last week this sign read $2.84 and today Exxon ran out of gas at the station in Coos Bay. Oh yeah, notice all that fierce sunshine? Need shades!!!



I been cooking again. Got a yen for Mac and Cheese...umm with giNORMOUS croutons. Boil large pot of salted water (4 quarts). Dump in bag of elbow macaroni (or pasta shape of choice). Bring to boil, cook uncovered six minutes.

Prepare croutons. I sliced up a loaf of french bread and tossed in a large bowl with melted butter and olive oil. Turn out on baking sheet, roast in oven at 350 for20 minutes. Set aside.

Leave oven on for macaroni dish to bake.

In large bowl mix cooked drained macaroni with three cheeses; shredded Parmesan, shredded cheddar and shredded string cheese (I'll remember the real name as soon as I post this stupid document). Add 1 cup milk, salt and pepper to taste. Pour into baking dishes, top with croutons and bake in 350 degree oven for another 20 minutes. I'm thinking I might make smaller croutons next time but Cupidman was hungry.

Or alternately,cook macaroni plain, serve croutons separately as a snack. Yeah, that's the ticket!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Rumor has it that



Rumor has it that the Chinese place in Coquille will reopen soon. The owners are reputedly related to Thai Dynasty owners in Coos Bay. I hope they make great General Tsao's chicken! Let's go do lunch! I love that nifty funky old house turned into a business. Freezing in winter, very hot in summer. Food fabulous, well except for the smackers. People who relentlessly smack their way through the food in front of them assaulting the ears of the neighboring diners. Yeach.

They probably won't be serving dim sum but gosh wouldn't that be lovely?

Also ate lunch yesterday at Lucky Dragon Buffet. Lots of steam tables steaming the very life from all the dishes. I had a ten dollar plateful of food and may not go back there. It was okay on the rating meter but not worth repeating soon unless starvation has reared it's ugly head.

And why hasn't Alton Brown done a Good Eats show on dim sum?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

WARNING BOOK REPORT




Julie Garwood has written several books set in the highlands near the time of King John...you know, Magna Carta? Resembled Basil Rathbone? Oh wait, that's Sheriff of Knottingham.

I like her stories, usually about English maidens invading the pertinent lairds to help a friend, escape a bad situation, etc. Basically stories about two traditional enemies coming to grips so to speak in the marriage bed.

I was taught many years ago to look for the title of the book within the story. I did see mention of Shadow Dance as that meaning the sound of a very swift powerful sword as an enemy is killed.

Our heroine, Princess Gabrielle of St. Biel is on her way to to the highlands to marry Laird Mc something. He gets murdered by one of two barons who are competing for the hand of Gabrielle because they are certain she knows the secret of the missing treasure of St. Biel. Before they arrive, Gabrielle has to kill a man because he was about to cleave in half a beaten nearly dead man. She shot the prepetrator with her arrow. Her body guards helped clean up the mess. They take the beaten man to the abby where everyone is staying. The half dead man is Liam McHugh. Liam's brother is Colm McHugh the laird of McHugh clan and the most fierce man in the highlands.

There are many plots. One jealous woman is prompted by one of the barons to publicly denounce Gabrielle as a whore and she is promptly banished,forced to leave the abby in shame. Her body guards go with her. Colm McHugh decides that she will become his wife because he owes her a great debt for saving his brother's life. There are several more twists and turns.

That book title Shadow Music is heard and eventually Gabrielle does discover the secret of the treasure of St. Biel. I liked this book because it reconnected me with characters from previous books, "Ransom" and "The Secret".

This one is a keeper. I have so many keepers I mave have to expand the library downstairs.

I visited a house along the northern Mendocino coast years ago in a tiny town called Elk. I was taken there to meet the home owner who was a retired teacher. She had books everywhere, there were even books set in the spaces between the risers on the stairs. I loved that place.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I can see four fer sure


Um...five if you count the Senorita holdling a baby in her arms.
It's Sunday. Past couple of weeks have been a little rough on our little hospital family. Three deaths(all relatives or friends, no employees) , one burst appendix, one scheduled gallbladder removal, two sprained ankles. We will be doing the good health dance as soon as the ankles are feeling less sprained.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Taxes are DONE


Finally got the taxes done and e-filed. Sets some kind of early filing record for us. Got the 1098 information from the bank and fired the program back up, chucked that in. Panicked briefly when the end results didn't look quite right. I finally went back to the W-2 section and realized there was a whole column of stuff I had failed to enter. That correction made me like Uncle Sam a whole lot better than previously. Got it finalized, printed, and only have to wait a couple days to hear from IRS that filing was accepted and I can put that stuff completely out of my mind for another year.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Got my bill for my surgical procedure


Right smack dab at 5600 dollars, that's half a crummy used car in today's dollars. The bill has been submitted to insurance which will pick up 80% if I am lucky. That leaves over 1100 bucks to cough up. And I have still to receive the bill for the pathology. Might get a slightly better break. At least we have made the deductible for the year already. Isn't that fun? I'm hoping the tax refund will cover most of this. I had to stop in the midst of that because I have to track down my 1098 on the house. I have to call the bank and ask if they mailed it and/or can I have another? O bother.

THE WINNER

G├ęsier de Poulet et nouvelles pommes de terre rouges

Doesn't that sound delicious?

Submitted by my sister of whom I did not know spoke French. Viva Le France!!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Jeez brace yourselves I been cookin' again THIS IS FOR MEAT LOVERS


Many years ago I attended a genuine Chinese New Years dinner with my first roommate. Her boyfriends family had invited us. We showed up and dined gloriously on all the wonderful usual goodies, I liked the winter melon soup and there was one dish made of chicken gizzards. They had been cooked until TENDER and were served in a lovely dark sauce that tasted FABULOUS.

With the taunt of "chicken hearts and rice" ringing in my ears, I decided to Google a recipe. Shoot I could NOT find any Chinese recipes for tender chicken gizzards. Dang.

HOWEVER, I did find a recipe submitted by Joe Bob Mac his Ma-Ma's recipe for tender chicken gizzards as follows. Be warned, I did not follow the recipe exactly.

A) 4 servings 55 minutes prep time (Hah! a lie of HUGE proportions!)

B) 1/2 lb of chicken gizzards rinsed. (um.. I used a bit under a pound BECAUSE THAT'S THE WAY THEY CAME AND IT WAS THE ONLY PACKAGE AVAILABLE AT THE STORE.)

C) 1/2 cup flour (divided for dredging in two separate containers)

D) 2 liter bottle of COCA-COLA. (Honest to Gawd, Coca-Cola and I used diet because I grabbed it by mistake)

E) 3 EGGS. (I only had one egg I made do with that)

F) 1/2 cup REAL BUTTER (um I used one cube of REAL BUTTER and it worked just fine)

G) 1/2 tsp of multiple spice seasoning Mortons Natures Seasons preferred. ( I used seasoned bread crumbs rather than the second dredging station with seasoned flour)

H) Place rinsed chicken gizzards in boiling pot containing the contents of a 2 liter bottle of Coca-Cola, reduce to simmer for 35 to 45 minutes. (Hmph maybe it takes longer with diet but I simmered the pot for TWO HOURS until they gizzards were FORK TENDER)

I) Remove gizzards and drain, allow to cool for 30 minutes. The cooler the better.

J) In the divided flour, mix the seasoning in one half (leave the other half of the flour plain)

K) Beat the eggs well. place the butter in a medium-large skillet and heat until hot but not burning.

L) Take cooled gizzards, dredge in flour, egg then season flour. IMPORTANT DREDGE IN THAT ORDER.

M) Place the gizzards in the frying pan and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes per side,turning occasionally. Remove when golden brown.

ADDENDUM: Because I had some nicely aged new red potatoes I cut them up, oiled them in a baking dish, sprinkled on Kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper and roasted them at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes. I served the finished gizzards on top of the potatoes. I made a side dish of three bean salad (garbanzo, kidney and black) with chopped onion, celery and dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and three packets of Splenda.

I could not find a nice French phrase for Chicken Gizzards boiled in Coca-Cola, breaded and sauted in butter. So I'm am going to call this Southern Fried Chicken SURPRISE

HUSBANDS REVIEW: "Pretty good" I wouldn't tell him what it was until he tasted it.

Any one have any better phrases to name this dish, something French, something intriguing, something graceful? Please no scatalogical humor! Winner gets one pound of chicken gizzards, second place gets TWO pounds of chicken gizzards. I crack me up.

I forgot ALL about THIS picture




I was performing PC maintenance on the downstairs computer this morning and ran across this picture of my "library table". I purchased it three or so years ago from the now defunct Book Nook. The table belonged to the owners mother and I put it on "lay-a-way" believe it or not for 20 bucks. Total cost was $150, if I remember correctly. You probably can't tell from the picture but the table splits down the middle and a hidden leaf folds out to expand the table enough to make a small dining room table. The piece needs to be refinished as the leaf no longer resembles the rest of the piece. I presently have it covered with a water proof table cloth as it presently sits next to the dining room window and holds our ever expanding cacti collection. Kitties do not leap into cacti more than once.