Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday morning music.

A little later today I will tell you all about the outstanding pizza I made for myself this past lonely Friday night.  For now, I thought you might enjoy some music for this Monday morning.  I'm always looking for easy songs to play on my guitar, as I'm not a very good guitarist, and this one fits the bill.  I dare you not to sing along.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Neeeeeeeeeew Mixer!

I haven't felt much like writing about anything, on account of the horrors I am watching in Japan.  But this conversation sort of snapped me out of it.  Keep in mind that he is nine, and she is six.

Daughter: How long would it take for an ant to walk around the perimeter of the whole earth?
Son: I don’t know.
Daughter: How long?!
Son: First, to answer that question I would have to know what the perimeter of the earth is.  Second, an ant would spend it’s entire life just walking across one country – one state.
Daughter: Just TELL ME!
Son: I can’t.
Daughter: You asshole.

So it seems that now is as good a time as any to tell you about the new mixer I was sent by those good people at CSN Stores.  I had pretty much destroyed my old mixer making gingerbread houses last Christmas.  It was a Black and Decker that I had picked up at Rite Aid after destroying the previous mixer making gingerbread houses the prior Christmas.  The new mixer is a Cuisinart and she is a beaut! 
This is the Power Advantage Five Speed Mixer - POW!!!  This baby would normally run you seventy five smackers, but CSN Stores has it available for $39.85.  Pa-POW!

I had a surplus of strawberries, owing to the fact that the local market had a two for one special and I bought two packs (are they called packs?) and my husband had gone in later that day and also bought two packs.  So, you see I had four packs of strawberries.  I made a little strawberry tart.

The Cuisinart Power Advantage comes with a booklet telling you what each speed is used for.  Here I whip together one cup marscapone with 1/3 cup heavy cream and 1/4 cup sugar, on speed numero three.

Ooh la la!  I love this mixer.  LOVE IT.  It runs so smooth, with no hand-numbing rattling, even on the higher speeds.  And trust me, I tried ALL the speeds.

The crust was made by grinding up some almonds, pecans, cinnamon, sugar, butter and flour in the food processor.  Honestly, I wrote down the amounts of each that I used, but I think my husband threw out the paper it was written on.  He's very tidy.  Too tidy, clearly.  While I baked the crust at 375 for about twelve minutes, I plopped about two tablespoons of strawberry jam into a sauce pot with a good glug of brandy, melted it down and poured over the berries.  When the crust was browned and cool, I spooned in the marscapone cream, topped with berries and stuck in the fridge for a while to chill.  This step proved essential, because my renegade crust, made on the fly, was crumbly and would never have allowed for clean slices without ample time to chill.  You can see from the above picture that I could not locate my tart pan and so used my pie dish instead.  The poor quality of the photos can be blamed on the fact that they were taken on my phone because my children used all the memory and battery on my camera taking videos of our hamster.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Thinking of those in Japan

Tonight I am so incredibly thankful that my children are sleeping while I am sitting on my couch, comfortable in my home tonight.  My thoughts are with the people of Japan, and I hope that things do not get any worse for them.  Please help if you can by going here:


Or by texting "redcross" to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Neeeeeeeeew Cast Iron Skillet!!!

Those good folks at CSN Stores asked me to review another product, and I chose a cast iron skillet after seeing my friend Ben's impressive Tarte Tatin.  My skillet arrived yesterday and here's the low down.

The skillet was packed inside this insanity. This packing material definitely makes you think rare and deadly spiders are hiding somewhere in this box.

Alas, it was just my new skillet.  I went with Emeril's rendition because I figured that guy knows what he's doing when it comes to a skillet.  I chose to make a frittata. 

First I melted some butter.  This proved to be too much butter, so I removed about a pat and a half.

Next I added tomatoes.

Then olives.  No, not really.  That's broccoli.

Corn.  The kids like corn in their eggs.  Go figure.

Lots of cheddar cheese which, prior to this photo being taken, my daughter was eating by the fistful.

Daughter staring longingly at the cheese, now out of reach.

I used 10 eggs and 3/4 cup milk, salt and pepper.  Simmer on the stove at medium until the edges are starting to set.  This took a little longer than I expected, so I made some crispy kale, because yesterday my husband brought home about five bunches of kale and it was taking over the refrigerator.  You just cut out the big rib in the center of the leaf, tear into chip sized pieces, rub all over with olive oil, sprinkle on some salt and then bake at 300 for about 20 minutes.  Don't let it turn brown or it goes from delicious to horribly revolting.

Here you see my son taking a break from writing his biography project (George Washington) to enjoy some crispy kale.  You also see my daughter who insists on being in every photo.

I made a kale salad as well.  I chopped the kale, then crushed a clove of garlic in my mortar and pestle with some salt, added white wine vinegar, olive oil, parmesan cheese.  Delicious!

The frittata spent about six minutes under the broiler to finish, and voila.

It came easily out of the skillet.

All in all I would have to say that I LOVE the cast iron skillet.  It's really heavy, I needed two hands to take it out of the oven, but it will come in handy if we have an intruder, or someone just pisses me off. Well done Emeril and CSN Stores!