What’s Cooking Thursday



Last night I couldn’t sleep. There was no caffeine in that dish I made yesterday, but I was still awake a little after 3:00am. That’s the last time I looked at the clock. It made 7:00am a painful experience.

Ada was upset this morning because she was pretty sure the slumber party on Friday was tonight, and she didn’t calm down until I explained it to her in terms she understood: She can stop being grumpy and talking back and go to a slumber party tomorrow or she can continue to talk back and whine and the slumber party will be never. After I dropped her off at her classroom, I found out that the slumber party has been canceled because of the sickness that Jay has is sweeping through the school. The afternoon class only had 5 kids there, and I think that 6 are sick in Ada’s. Anyhow, now I get to deal with telling her that there will be no slumber party.

I was calling Jay’s preschool because I’m keeping him home today and tomorrow because even though he is fine most of the day, fever free and without Tylenol, the fever comes back in the afternoon. I hung up talking to them just in time for Jay to throw up on me. Fabulous.

I had a meeting in KC tonight, and Mac found out last minute that he has to travel out of town today for work and won’t be home in time for me to leave. After Jay spewed on me, I just decided to cancel and not bother to keep trying to find a babysitter. Mac gets to take a one day trip to Hutchinson, KS. That’s 7 hours of just driving. It will be a close call on whose day will be worse.

Oh, yeah, cooking. I’m making a chicken enchilada casserole. I did restock my masa harina. I also bought tortillas. Today is not the day for effort. I’m just boiling and shredding chicken and then cooking it with some chilis, spices, verde sauce, yo cheese and onions and then layering it lasagna style, topping it with monterrey jack cheese and sticking it in the oven. Casseroles for the win. My effort is going to be saved for peeling a gazillion apples.

What’s Cooking Wednesday



Tonight is pumpkin ravioli w/ a brown butter sage sauce. I wouldn’t have minded a salad, but when I went to gather the children for a run to the store, I found Jay asleep. I am almost not up to making anything, but I’m uninspired without any defrosted meat, tofu or fresh veges. Even taking the easy route and making homemade pizza is out because I’m out of seasoning for the sauce. Enchiladas sound good too, but no tortillas. What I do have is a good amount of pumpkin, some fresh sage and the ability to make pasta.

Maybe that’s what I should request for our anniversary: a tortilla press. I know you can do them by hand, but um, why? I think a 8-inch cast iron press would be a lovely addition to my kitchen. And this waffle maker. Okay, maybe I’ll see if I can do it with a rolling pin, and if not, then I’ll hunt for a press. I already own the rolling pin.

Wave Strainer Win!



The wave strainer did a lovely job with the pumpkin puree. Water on the bottom, thick pumpkin puree on the top. You can do the same with cheesecloth and a fine mesh strainer, but this takes up less room in the fridge, has a lid, and you don’t have to use cheesecloth. This was recommended and gifted to me by a friend. It is a fabulous tool, and I used it with non-fat yogurt to make yo-cheese (just really, really thick yogurt, more so than greek) which I use as a replacement for not only greek yogurt, but also sour cream. I put more pumpkin in there this morning. If you like to cook, you should buy one.

Jay did great, until probably around 4:00pm. He started getting really grumpy, so I told him to lie down on his pillow. He didn’t have a nap, so I wasn’t surprised that he fell asleep pretty quickly. He had gone all day without a fever or Tylenol. Mac came home and took his temperature and it was over 100 again. Drats. He’s fine again this morning. Mine was it’s normal 97.8 this morning, but is now 99. I’ll live and still manage to do some cleaning. I just feel tired and would rather sleep.

Jay Better, Me Not So Much



Jay has gone without a fever and without Tylenol since 7:00.

I can’t say the same for myself. I felt really tired and dizzy all morning, and then during lunch, I just didn’t feel like eating. I assumed that I was over-cooking so much yesterday that today I was on a food burn-out. I started into laundry, getting four loads done and cleaning up the kitchen from yesterday, which got into a state of disrepair other then dishes, which I keep up as I go along. The weather was warmer today than it has been recently, and my house is open with fans going. I was feeling warm and was considering turning the air conditioner on. I took another temperature reading for Jay, which came out normal. I sat there for a moment, changed the cover and then took a temperature reading for me: 100.4. Oh. No wonder the house is warm and food is entirely unappealing. Some Tylenol has it back down to 99.2, which for my normal body temperature of 97.8, is still making me feel warm.

I’m going to take a shower with the kids to get that done, and then let Mac handle dinner. He can order delivery, go through a drive-through or dig out leftovers. I don’t care. I just don’t want to deal with food. I just want to get into bed–maybe play some games, which always takes my mind off being miserable.

My Seeds Are Cooked



I really hate thinking of titles. Anyhow…

I cooked two of the three because my house is joyfully tealess. I’m a coffee girl, and I have never meet a tea that I like. Except maybe some herbal “teas” that don’t actually contain tea. There is a peppermint one that I can tolerate.

I made the spicy sugar seeds and the curry seeds. The spicy sugar seeds are great! I would make them again in a heartbeat. Sweet, salty and tad bit of spice. I liked it. The curry seeds were meh. They smelled fabulous while they roasted. If you want to know what they taste and feel like, then just take a spoonful of curry powder and eat it. Yeah. Maybe a different curry powder would make a difference, but I don’t think it would change the texture. Just, no. I’m going to try to throw in a little chopped crystallized ginger and see if that makes a taste difference. If so, then I need to find a different method of adding the curry so it doesn’t have that gritty powder feel.

The pumpkins have been put through the Vitamix and in the fridge. I put some in my wave strainer, sorry yogurt.

I almost took my chicken bones and started making stock. Then I realized that I’m a little tired from dealing with Jay and cooking. I’ll stick the carcass in the fridge and tackle that tomorrow. Right now, my plans for dinner tomorrow are breakfast. Jay keeps asking for pancakes. I have bacon, and I’m going to make blueberry syrup. Really, really easy dinner. I can let stock cook for most of the day. I also have a ton of apples that I’m going to turn into apple butter. I have to peel those. Tomorrow seems like a good as day as any.

Ada won the wishbone pull after dinner. She wished for cookies.

What’s Cooking Monday



Tonight’s meal is sort of a mish-mash of things. I have leftover ginger applesauce that I made while back that needs to be eaten. I’m going to cook a whole chicken on the grill because the weather is beautiful for grilling. I’m doing beer can chicken, except with soda because I only have bottled beer. The taste of the beer is never reflected in the meat when I cook this, but the moisture keeps the meat juicy. I was amazed the first time I did it. I think I have Diet Coke in the house from some function we had. If not, there is one Dr Pepper. I put the chicken in a brine with liquid smoke and Turkish seasoning. Then I let it air dry for awhile in the fridge. I oil it up, rub it all over with more Turkish seasoning and pop it on the grill. I turn the burner underneath the chicken off, but leave the side ones on high. The entire chicken cooks in about 40 minutes. It’s about 500-600 inside the grill when it cooks. Then I’m going to saute some late season corn with butter, salt, pepper, shallots and bacon. So, it doesn’t really all gel together, but whatever. All three are good.

I have two more pumpkins in the oven roasting now. I love roasting the seeds with just salt and pepper, but for these seeds, I’m going to try the three way. I have four more pumpkins, so if I don’t like any of these it’s no loss. I have lots of seeds. Plus I have one very large carving pumpkin. Lots and lots of seeds. I had Ada stick her hand in one of the pumpkins. She did surprisingly good, hesitant at first but warmed up to full on squishing of pumpkin innards. She took four of the seeds and planted them somewhere in the back yard, probably in the same place she planted the dried blueberries, almonds and basil leaves*.

*I also caught her transplanting my entire basil plant. I couldn’t believe it. Since it was the end of the season and soon to die in the frost, I just let her carry on. She them transplanted it back to my herb container, and it didn’t die. There you go, Raintree at work**.

**They have gardens at Raintree, so part of their “recess” is planting and taking care of flowers. They also have a nice relaxing waterfall. And a pond with paddle boats. I love this school.

Nevermind, false alarm



Jay started acting grumpy, telling everybody to go away and throwing his shoes and sunglasses out the window at the gas station. Then at home, he was glued to my side and wanted to be carried everywhere. He was leaning against me in the chair when I reached over and felt his hot forehead. He gives off a lot of heat at times when his temp is normal, so I took it to confirm. His temp is 101.2. Drats. I gave him more Tylenol and called to let pre-school know he will not be there tomorrow, and I canceled for Wednesday as well. I’ll judge how he does on Wednesday to see if he can go on Thursday.

He asleep on the floor. I don’t make him get on the floor, but for some reason he doesn’t want on either sofa. He insists on the floor. If he’s comfy, why not.

He’s Baaaaack



Jay fell asleep last night a little before 1:00am. He only woke up twice crying, so for the most part, I got almost 6 hours of sleep! That’s much better than the 1.5 hours of sleep that I got in about 20 minute intervals.

He still had an over 102 fever last around 10:30. He was overdue a couple of hours for another dose of Tylenol. About an hour later, it was down to 100 and I was able to get him to drink some juice and share a bagel. Then he lay* on the floor babbling. I was pretty sure he was delirious. All of the sudden, he was quite. I looked over at him, and he was asleep. I gave him a quick feel on the forehead, and he was cold. Awesome. I covered him and slept beside him. His temperature this morning was 98.5. I was sitting in my room, and he came in, peeked around the door, turned off the light, and ran off. A bit later, he came back in and said, “Goodnight!” and shut the door. I went out about 15 minutes later and he had the entire contents of my purse spread on the living room floor.

So yeah, Jay feels fine.


Really, this *is* my life



So, I was sitting in the living room and I said, “It sure is nice that Ada and Jay are playing so well together.” Would you like to guess how many cotton swabs were in the dresser drawers? They both got to help pick this mess up. Then I had them do the same with all the items they dragged into the living room. I was impressed by the job they did until I went downstairs to put the bagels in the extra fridge for the night. Apparently “clean up the living room” to Jay means “throw everything down the stairs.” I felt like I was maneuvering through an elaborate booby trap, hoping that the worst would just be me dropping the container of bagels. Ada cleaned that up today-most of it. She did great considering I didn’t have to ask her, she just did it. That is a rarity. I guess if I want them to put their things away, I just need to throw it down the stairs.

Jay is still sick, running a fever consistently around 102. He’s been sleeping off and on, whining and crying. He finally ate a little in the evening, asking for popcorn. Mac rummaged for the microwave variety. I told him that we had regular popcorn in the pantry. He claims that the last time he tried to pop it on a stove, he started a fire. I gladly popped some on a empty burner while I was making dinner.

Dinner tonight was a pumpkin with shrimp bisque. Seafood dishes keep you on track when making meals. You pretty much need to cook it as soon as you get it. I made a stock using the shells and the occasional tail tip that came from the shrimp. My next pumpkin dish is going to be a pumpkin and sage ravioli with a brown butter sauce–a pretty typical combo. I’m also going to try a lentil, roasted pumpkin and goat cheese salad and a pumpkin spice bagel. Ada thinks I’m silly because they sing The Pumpkin on the Vine at school, and it clearly says that mother bakes pumpkin pie and not soup. Pumpkin pie isn’t bad, but we will get our fill of the traditional pie for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Unless I think of something unique to do, I’m passing on the pie. I do love my orange spice pumpkin bread recipe though. I’d gladly do quick bread. Or cheesecake. Or a pumpkin dump cake, which is OMG, really rich and really yummy. I’m not going to head out to Shaake’s again, but luckily Hy-Vee has Shaake pumpkins. That’s one reason I like that store. They carry local and regional food.