Saturday, September 30, 2006

Yesterday, All My Troubles Seemed So...

Johnstone's Crocodile aka a

Actually, there are no troubles that will be reported here. When I thought the word "yesterday", the classic Beatles song naturally followed. I know I'm not alone in this. Around my house we do this with movie quotes, too. A lot.

I went to The Zoo with my SIL, Jen, yesterday where I took the above picture of a Johnston's Crocodile or, as our friends Down Undah refer to them, "a freshie". Just thought I'd share.

FYI, if I haven't commented on your blawg recently, that means I haven't caught up on it, yet. I'm working on it. I don't think I'll go that long without checking again. It takes forever to catch up!

I'm off to Costco. Wish me luck.

(Oooh, which reminds me - another delish dinner idea: grilled "Flap" steak that has been marinated in Mr. Yoshida's Sweet and Savory Original Gourmet, um, sauce. Thank you to our beautiful friends Dave and Alena for introducing us to this.)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Requested Recipes Part II Subtitle: Pork Marsalalalalala

First off I would just like to say that I was thinking about it, and the way I wrote the instructions for the fish sorta makes it sound as if I don't expect any of you to know how to cook fish. That was not my intention. If you don't know how to cook fish, then there it is for you in black and white and technicolor. If you do, just keep doin' whatcha been doin'. Ok. So, on to the pork...

Pork Marsala
Pork Marsala
adapted from a recipe for Chicken Marsala

1-1/2 to 2 lb Pork Tenderloin (if you get it in the vacuum packed, er, package it usually comes in two pieces. Use both.)
1 tbsp Oil of your choice (I used olive oil)
3 tbsp butter (pronounced buttah, of course)
3 cups sliced mushrooms (your choice - I used cremini, which look like brown button mushrooms - and you can reduce the amount if you prefer)
2 tbsp (at least) chopped shallots (Hi, my name is Teri and I'm addicted to shallots)
3/4 cup Sweet Marsala wine (Go ahead, splurge on the $11 bottle)
1 cup chicken stock
Salt and pepper (Salt 'n' Pepa, anyone?)

Pre-heat oven to 350°(325° for convection). Lightly oil roasting pan or 9x13 baking dish. Heat the tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tenderloins and brown evenly on all sides. Transfer tenderloins to baking pan. (I also chopped up some red potatoes, tossed them in a little olive oil, minced garlic and kosher salt and arranged them around the meat.) Bake in pre-heated oven for 20 minutes, turn meat over and cook another approximately 20 minutes or until the thickest part of the 'loin gets to 170°. (This is where my digital thermometer paid for itself.) Once it reaches temperature, remove from oven and let the meat rest. (Seriously, it turns out, letting it rest is important.) At some point during the last 20 minutes that the meat is cooking, take the skillet you used to brown the meat and melt 1 tbsp of butter. Add shallots and cook until translucent. (Carmelized might be even better, but would take longer. If you carmelize the shallots, then you should probably add a little more butter before you add the mushrooms.) Add mushrooms and cook them, stirring frequently, until they are golden brown around the edges and have given off their liquid. Add the Marsala (beware of flare!) and bring to a boil, scraping all the yummy brown bits from the bottom of the pan. When the wine has reduced by half add chicken stock and cook until sauce thickens a bit. Swirl in butter and add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer sauce to a bowl, cut up pork into nice juicy chunks and serve to applause and praise from your adoring audience. Easy peasy.


(Please note: here in SoCal it is technically still Thursday. I'm just sayin'.)

Update/Correction: Meno pointed out that I forgot to mention when I use the shallots. Duh me! Before you add the mushrooms, cook the shallots until they are translucent. Or carmelized them, even. If you carmelize them, you might want to add a little more butter before you put in the mushrooms. Hope this didn't cause any problems! Thanks, Meno! (I've corrected the recipe, btw.)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Recipes As Requested (Don't you just love alliteration?) Part One

I'm sure you've realized by now that I exist in my own little Space/Time Continuum apart from the actual 24 hour day. It's embarrassing, but that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

::insert smooth segue here::

Warning regarding recipes (especially for the fish): Quantities are approximate and to taste. Cuz that's how I roll in my 'hood. (aka my kitchen. Or, as we call it around my house, thanks to a 3 yr old H-bug, "chichen".)

Tarragon Orange Roughy
Tarragon Orange Roughy
(This was inspired by combining a recipe for stir fry O.R. and a great scallop recipe that my mom gave me.)
Serves 3
3 fillets of Orange Roughy (or any other mild, white fish), cut into 8 pieces each
3 tbsp Oil of your choice (I used Enova©)
2 tbsp chopped shallots
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon (or 2 tsp dry)
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dry)
Kosher salt to taste

Evenly coat pieces of fish with 1 tbsp of oil. Toss with cornstarch, tarragon and parsley and a couple pinches of salt. Set aside.
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in skillet. Add shallots and saute until translucent. (this means you don't want the heat too high at this point) Add garlic and saute for another 30 seconds or so. You don't want the garlic to burn or it will be bitter. Add fish to pan. This is where it can get tricky. Cooking fish can be a bit intimidating. Cook it too long and it's chewy. Not long enough and it's slimy (and possibly dangerous). In this case, I dump the pieces into the pan and toss them around a bit with my spatula so that I can get them coated with the shallots and garlic. Then I make sure they are all lying flat and watch for them to turn from transluscent to opaque half way up. Because fillets aren't very thick, this doesn't take very long. Flip them all over (some might stick - that's ok) and keep a VERY close watch, because this time it really won't take very long. The oil will keep the fish looking glisteny (what? glisteny can too be a word), so make sure you don't mistake that for "slimy". You are looking to see that the fish is now opaque white. (Click on the above picture, then on "all sizes" to see it really big. That's what it should look like.) As soon as it looks done, remove it from the pan. Make sure to scrape up some of the crunchy bits or maybe think about trying to make a nice little sauce by deglazing the pan with bit of white wine (or chicken stock). I served it with white rice. But brown or wild or both would work. I just think it should be something that is subtle in flavor so that it doesn't clash with the fish. Tarragon has a licoricey flavor that mellows nicely when cooked. It also is delicious with scallops.

If there is something that doesn't make sense, email me and I will try to clarify. If any cooks out there find that I've made a mistake, also please email me so that I can fix it! Remember with the herbs and salt, it's all relative. If you haven't tried tarragon before and think that 2 tablespoons might be too much, start with 1 tablespoon and see how it looks. Keep in mind, my Tween Terriblé ate it all up.

Thursday: Pork Marsala!

Almost Wordless Wednesday #6

Central California August 2003
Click on picture to enlarge

(Recipes to follow later this afternoon.)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Huh? Whaaa? Today Isn't Monday? Heh. Oops.

Saaaawyyyy. But I'm here now. Still not as organized as I should be. Really, though, who here is surprised about that? I made a couple of really tasty meals. So I've got that. I even took pictures. Duh.
Pork MarsalaPork Marsala with Roasted Red Potatoes and Zucchini
The pork was sooooo perfect. Amazing how helpful a digital thermometer can be. I highly recommend one.
And also:
Tarragon Orange RoughyTarragon Orange Roughy (or does Orange Roughy Tarragon sound better?) with White Rice and Roasted Patty Pan and Yellow Crookneck Squash
This is a recipe that I tweaked to use what I had and came out sAhoooo fab. I was pretty proud of both of these meals. If anyone is interested, I'll post the recipes. They are quick and easy, but look impressive.

Alrighty then. My computer keeps bugging me to restart so that it can finish installing some update, so I think I'll end this first very exciting post. And then I'm gonna start catchin' up on all y'all. (And YES, I'm going to finish organizing the computer room/office/craft room by tonight tomorrow night and will post pictures. Really. No. I'm serious.)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Psssssst a.k.a. Monday, Monday...

Psssst...hey...ovah heah...sssshhhh, I'm not actually done, so technically I shouldn't be here, but I thought I might mention that I plan on being back by Monday afternoon. And I'm going to make a concerted effort to post something every day. I took a peek at my Bloglines list, and HOLY COW PEOPLE, what's with all the posting?? I have some major catching up to do.

Thank you everyone for putting in your thoughts and suggestions regarding my magnets! I appreciate all your kind comments. And the kick-me-in-my-gluteous-maximus ones, as well. Hee.

And you know that it's almost a compulsion that I post a picture with my posts, so here ya go:
Magnets 2

Now I'm off to watch Men In Trees. After just one episode, I'm totally hooked.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Uh... Couldn't Come Up With A Clever Title. With Pictures. Sweet.

I'm makin' stuff! Yay me! I'm making business card size collage magnets to sell at the artisan gallery where I have a few cards for sale. Looky:Magnets 4 Sale (the bottom one isn't finished)
As you can see, I'm really lovin' the washi paper. Oooh, and also, a birthday card:
Butterfly Birthday
I'm on a roll.
And, ALSO, here's where I was on Friday:

Ok, that's all the pictures. (and as (sort of) usual, click on the pic to see it biggah)

So, I woke up this morning with an urgent pressure on the inner wall of my bladd...oh wait, no, that's not what I was going to say. Heh. Ok, ok, seriousness for a sec... I woke up this morning and felt that it was imperative when fall and winter finally saunter our way that I be prepared. I am determined to purge and organize this place during the next couple of days, so that I don't have to continually stress about all the cleaning and organizing I should be doing. And I know that I have a lifetime of really, rAHEally amazing art supplies that, if I could get to them, I would be using like mad. This means that I'm taking a non-lazy, announced break from Blahging for a few days. And ::gulp:: Bloglines. So, starting retroactively since Friday, I won't be reading and commenting until I have regained some control of my mess environmenthouse. I just didn't want you, my Interweb Friends, to think I was ignoring you and your insightful, witty, poignant, funny selves. Of course, when I do come back I foresee a 24 hour period where there will be nothing but catching up on reading and commenting. Should be fab. ::breathing into paper bag::
Oh, but I do have a question for you. Looking at the two magnets that I've actually finished - would you spend $2 on one? Honestly. No blowin' sunshine up my, er, skirt.

I guess that's it for now. See you in a few days. Hugs and air-kisses to all.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wordless Wednesday #5. Only On Thursday. And With Words.

Wordless Wednesday #5, On Thursday
As usual, click on pic to see larger size

I'm breakin' all the rules all ovah the place, here. And in classic lazy fashion killing two proverbial birds with one stone. Posting and addressing comments.

First : Here is your pretty picture for the week. Only I'm probably ruining the reflection potential by, ya know, being wordy. (rule breaker - I'm a rebel like that.)

Second: Thank ya'll for your suggestions for my phantom Esty shop's name - humorous and actual. If I actually open the shop and pick a name, you'll be the first to know. As an excuse for this lame way of commenting on my comments, I would just like to say that I am not a morning person and if you'll notice, I'm posting this at 6:47AM. AM. I've been up since 4AM. AM. I went to bed at 12AM. AM. I need to get up at 8am, so I'm going to see if I can ignore the sounds of the quail my daughter insisted on bringing home with her at the end of school last year (please, PLEASE stop. the. squawking.) and get in a little nap.

You all have a fabulous, sparkley, lovely day.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Cry For Help

I'm thinking about doing something creative and useful with my days and possibly opening an Etsy shop. For those of you who don't know, Etsy is a site a little like eBay, but for handmade items and I don't think you do any auctioning. Of course, to open a shop means that I'll have to actually make an inventory of cards and collages. And get permission to use a lot of my stamps. And open a PayPal account. So, yeah, that I have to actually do something on my computer besides obsessively refresh
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Anywho, the point of my so-called "Cry for Help" is that if I do indeed take the plunge, I would like to have a clever name for the aforementioned, currently fictitious storefront. So, hit me with your best shot. If I happen to pick yours, I'll send you something artsy. That I made with my own two widdle hands. How's that sound? Let the games begin!

Monday, September 11, 2006

In Memoriam

We will never forget.

Please visit the 2,996 Project to read tributes to the people lost on this day 5 years ago.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Contents of My Purse Meme

My first Interweb stalkergroupie, Bo ovah at The Cat's Me'Ass, has tagged me for a meme that, in theory, shouldn't have been that hard to execute. Unfortunately, and despite some evidence to the contrary, I can be surprising anal about details. I may or may not have taken 10 or so shots, edited those down to three and then went back and set it all up again and taken 10 more. I'd prefer not to confirm or deny.

So, without further ado... The Contents of My Purse.

The Contents of My Purse Meme

This really is the purse that I've been using. I got it at Target for a dollar. Yes, siree. I do use a much nicer possibly leather purse in a lovely springy/sagey green for more formal occasions. Just sos you know. In case you were worried.

The Contents:
1. Pink leather wallet - over stuffed (unfortunately not with greenbacks)
2. Magenta T-Mobile Razr (whose your MOMMA!?! heh)
3. Today's Target receipt (guess who's gotta cover her grays)
4. Unused coupons
5. Car/house keys (remind me to tell you the whole Story of The Car sometime)
6. Spectacles wipe
7. Sugar-free Creme Savers in Strawberry
8. Sunglasses (they attach magnetically to my specs. Cool, huh?)
9. Hep (aka "hip") small, striped pad of paper
10. Burt's Bees Lip Balm - I panic when I'm without it.
11. Mary Kay lip gloss in Berrie Smoothie - just in case I happen to casually bump into one of the greatest singer-songwriters of our time. It's Marc Cohn, people. Marc Cohn.
12. A Pilot Precise Rolling Ball V7 pen
13. Lint (not shown)

Once again, thank you Bo for putting a fire under me to blog. Hey, believe it or not I have two drafts on which I am working. No. Really.

Now I'm tagging my beautiful and cool bestest friend from high school, Mandy. Giving you a little practice with your camera, gf. Welcome to the Wonderful Wide World of Blahging Memes!
Update: I'm now also tagging S@bd, too!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Photobooth Friday #9 - Now With Actual Words!

Photobooth Friday #9
(click on picture to view larger image)
Written on the back in pencil: "Sunday Sept. 8-18"

I love the hat, of course, and the sweet pose with the other girl. These sorts of pictures make it difficult for me to not wax romantic about "simpler times".

In other, much more modern news: A New Google Hit! This time for "diamond encrusted wedding band". I barely made page 2, though. Looks like some lucky girl out there is going to have a beautiful wedding. Or she's trying to figure out a way to pawn it. Let's go with the less cynical scenario, shall we?

Anniversary update: For those of you who were wondering (and because I know he is a little disappointed that I didn't report this earlier), The Spouse cooked a lovely dinner for our anniversary. For starters there was a fresh wedge salad with a thick slice of organic tomato (you must pronouce it "tomAHto" when it's organic), seared ahi coated in Thai seasoning and sesame seeds and topped with a tangy cheese and garlic dressing. The salad was served with flaky Parmesan bread sticks. The main course was a nice thick steak of grouper. Its perfectly grilled flesh was firm and flaky. This was laid lovingly on a bed of brown and wild rice and topped with a delightful lemon butter. Oh my was that lemon butter delightful. It was served with scallops broiled in olive oil, garlic and smothered in Italian cheese. On the side, grilled baby asparagus and carrots. Did I mention the lemon butter? It was all delicious AND he washed the dishes. I'm thinking the money we spent on this kitchen was made worth it just because he will now cook. He so hated the other kitchen that he refused. But you'd better believe I got to cook in it. And do the dishes. Without a dishwasher. For seven years. While I also had a full-time job outside the home.::ahem:: Anyway, it was a fab meal. Lemon butter, people, with a touch of heavy cream. It melted like delicious lemony gold over the hot, meaty fish, down into the nutty rice. ::sigh::

Alrighty then.

Until I get off my lazy be-hind and go through my photos, this will be my last Photobooth Friday for a while. I guess it's time to make some new ones! Yeah, don't hold your breath. "Slim in 6" takes at least 6 weeks. But that's only if you actually do it. Oh. I mean - maybe in 6 weeks. Heh.

In the meantime, whilst my Photobooth Friday mentor, hulaseventy is moving house (poor girl, what a pain!), amuse yourselves here:
LeSophie (Guest Photobooth Hostess Extraodinarie, this week with a simply wonderful poem by her son as a bonus.)
JesC (be sure to look at her Photobooth Set, as well. It's amazing.)
hulaseventy's Flickr Photobooth Set

All ya'll have a lovely, long weekend.