Here on the frontier, There are falling leaves, Although my neighbors are all barbarions…And you? You are a thousand miles away. There are always two cups on my table.

Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

Thank You Gordon Ramsay. The Beef Casserole Rocked!

I Can’t help myself!

My guilty pleasure is Hell’s kitchen.

Being a foodie with a son who chefs also has me scouring Gordon Ramsay‘s recipe books.

Currently I am working through the recipes in his fabulous book,

“Gordon Ramsay’s Family Fare”

Every recipe I have made from  lamb cassoulet to salmon seviche has not only turned out tasting amazingly yummy but has been pretty darn easy to make.

I have to give cudos to the f-bomb dropping kitchen nightmare Gordon Ramsay.

He is all that and then some.

Beef Casserole:

Ingredients:

 Ingredients:

BEEF CASSEROLE

This casserole is the perfect winter warmer. Braising beef is slowly cooked with herbs and vegetables in red wine, which gives the stew a depth of color and a wonderful rich flavor.

1 3/4lb (800g) braising beef
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper olive oil, for cooking
7oz (200g) smoked bacon, cut into small cubes
2 medium carrots, peeled
1 small celeriac, about 1lb 9oz (700g), peeled
5oz (150g) pearl onions (or baby shallots), peeled
few thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
9oz (250g) crimini mushrooms, trimmed halved if large
1 tsp tomato paste
2 cups (500ml) red wine
1 1/4 cups (300ml) beef or chicken stock
handful of Italian parsley, chopped

Instructions:

Heat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Cut the beef into bite size chunks. Season the flour with salt and pepper and toss the meat in the flour to coat.

Heat a little olive oil in a large cast-iron casserole over
medium heat. Sear the beef briefly in two or three batches until browned all over, then transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add the bacon to the casserole and sauté gently until lightly golden, adding a little olive oil if necessary.
Meanwhile, cut the carrots and celeriac into 3/4-inch (2-cm) cubes.

Tip them into the pan with
the whole onions, thyme, and bay leaves and stir over medium heat for 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in the mushrooms and tomato paste and sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour in the red wine and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze.

Add the stock and bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for a few minutes.

Return the beef to the casserole and stir to immerse the meat in the liquid completely.

Put the lid on the casserole and cook in the oven for 2 1/2 hours or until the beef is very tender.
Check the seasoning, then scatter the chopped parsley over the stew.


As you can see from the picture there is no scattered parsley on top of the finished dish.
I also used a regular cooking onion instead of tiny pearl onions and bumped up the quantities of carrots and celery as well as beef.
You have to make a recipe your own by adjusting the seasonings to your own tastes and using ingredients that are available to you.
Don’t be afraid to be creative as long as the basic recipe remains intact.
For instance, using stew meat is a basic part of this recipe.Exchanging that for minute steak would not work.

The wine is also a basic element. You can leave it out if you have someone on anabuse who will be eating but you would want to exchange it with grape juice and a splash of vinegar.

If you keep a kosher kitchen as I do you can exchange the bacon for smoked meat.  I used lamb.

Lastly, I left out the bay leaves simply because the supermarket didn’t have them in the generic brand.
I wasn’t going to spend $4 for a jar of bay leaves from McCormick when I only use it occasionally.
Did not miss it one bit!

The casserole was simply amazing! Wonderful on a cold snowy October day.

WHAT? Snow in October??? Holy moly!!!

I think it’s time to take one last walk in the leaves.

Winter is coming!

Luckily Hoo and gmom loves us some snow!!!

this is gmom and baby Hoo

coming to you from beautiful Baltimore.

peace out.

Good Gifts (and bad) For Wives : Husbands You Can Take Notes On This

Everyone likes to get a good gift. A gift that demonstrates that the giver really thought about what the the receiver would like.

Women are typically good gift givers. Men not so much.

So I’m doing you guys a favor and spelling it out for you.

Newsflash!  Flowers are not a gift. They are a thoughtful gesture or an accompaniment to a heartfelt apology.

Roses go really well with, for instance,… “I borrowed your car,

left the tank on empty and didn’t tell you.

I am fully accountable for you being late for your meeting.”

Newsflash!  Unless the girl is a teenager don’t give candy. Almost all women are watching their figures and don’t appreciate the sabotage.

It’s a classic blunder.

If we want chocolate we’ll buy it for ourselves.

Good Gifts:

1. Diamond stud earrings. Guys don’t try and get creative with all the pretty colored stone  jewelry out there.

The classic diamond stud can be had pretty inexpensively. Just one word of warning don’t buy the size for infants unless your wife is a dwarf, then it might be okay, I’ll check.

2. Gift Certificate to a spa. Most women will really appreciate your thoughtfulness. Showing your love by giving her some pampering is going to win you big brownie points.  Most guys think their gal wants to spend her special day with him.  I don’t know why guys think this.

3. Gift Certificate to her favorite shoe or clothing store. Don’t risk buying what you “think” she would like and worse yet, guess her “size”. That’s a night on the couch for sure. And don’t buy sexy lingerie guys, it’s so self-serving.

4. Short on time or inspiration? Buy a Kindle and a beautiful card with a return gift receipt. She will love it. Unless she is blind and only reads braille. Then you screwed up.

Bad Gifts. Very very bad.

—————————————

1. Membership to a gym. (Can you spell divorce court?)

2.Gift Card to Home Depot.

3. An Appliance.  Unless it’s something she specifiacally asked for, found the one she wanted and taped a reminder to your shaving mirror.

4.A home cooked dinner. No explanation needed right?

5. A mop. Thanks to Silverado for this one. Inspired.

Guys I just want to say, your welcome.

I know you needed this information.

Gmom is here to help. I’m just like that. I’m a helper person.

Now, what was the best and worst gift that you have received?

This is gmom the helper person,

peace out.

Apple (Lappal) Cake

Something about apples…

They are so…American.

In light of that sentiment and the news of the day.

Shall we tally ho and forth and so on with this ultra-comfort food.

Pass me another piece!!!!!

A Teenage Gourmet published this recipe for apple cake.

I made it today with little granddaughter Starlite, who calls it lappal cake.

It is as delicious as it looks and super easy.

Here is the link to Sammi’s blog where you can get the recipe.

http://ateenagegourmet.wordpress.com/2011/05/01/heckuva-apple-cake-for-mom/

Absolutely, totally worth it.

I made the cake as Sammi suggested with granny smith apples.

I used the full sugar and oil, and no orange zest.

I was working with Starlite’s help so I kept things simple, and moving fast.

Awesome, awesome cake.

Thanks Sammi you rocked this one!

I made the cake in 2 pans so Starlie could take home one to Mommy!

Apple cake served with ice cream.

Here is a bite for you!

Yummy! Thanks Sammi!

This is gmom,

Have a safe weekend.

Peace out.

It’s Time For Monkey Bread!!!!!!

Yes indeed friends it is time for Monkey bread!

First I want you to know that only one monkey is included with each recipe.

So don’t ya’ll feel bad making it there’s plenty of the little swingin’ critters to go around.

Hahaha!

Just kidding.

No animals, including monkeys, dogs or squirrels are harmed in the preparation of Monkey Bread.

Why it’s called Monkey Bread you ask????

Well even a monkey could make it and it still comes out good.

The taste? Sinful! Just sinful.

You can find other easier recipes using pre-made buttermilk biscuits but they aren’t as good as this recipe. Cutting corners just isn’t worth it sometimes!

Now get to it.

Ingredients: In a large bowl mix

2 packets active dry yeast (5 teaspoons)

2 cups warm water

2 tablespoons sugar

Let sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy.

This is called proofing the yeast.

Once it is foamy add in:

6 cups of flour

2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup sugar

4 tablespoons softened margarine or butter

Mix together with a large spoon:

Then knead for 10 minutes by hand either in the bowl or on a floured surface.

Let dough rise for 45 minutes or until double in bulk.

In the meantime, in a  saucepan warm:

2 cups margarine or butter

2 cups brown sugar

Optionally:

Add in up to 2 cups of raisins and 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans

When dough has risen knead it for a couple of minutes.

Cut it into small chunks.

Dip the pieces into the margarine sugar and drop them into a cake or bundt pan.

Let rise for 25 minutes.

Bake at 375 F (190 C) for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

While still warm turn over on a serving plate.

Pull apart to eat!

Enjoy.

Monkey out now friends.

This is gmom.

Peace out.

Fifty Is The Best Birthday Ever!!!! I’m Going To Do It Every Year!!!

OMG!

If I knew 50 was going to be so great. I would have turned 50 last year. I am totally doing it again next year!

No seriously, I am!

First gift?

A dishwasher!!!!!

My great kids bought me a dishwasher!!!!!

That might seem lame to some but just ask daughter Eggs, mother to Hoo.  She jumps to wash the dishes after dinner cause she knows how much I hate it.

China,  who is so exhausted taking care of new baby Li. She will be pulling on the sink gloves insisting she likes to do the dishes. Yeah and I like root canal.

Maybe they got the dishwasher for themselves….hmmmmm.  Naw it’s for me.

Ta Dah!!!! Dishwasher rocks! Thanks kids!

Then…

Husband gave me yellow roses which I think symbolize jealousy. He always gets them because when I was delivering my first baby  there was a picture of yellow roses on the delivery room wall.  I used it as a focal point. Good times, good times.

Now he thinks they are the  flower power rose.

He also gave me a chocolate bar.

Thanks hubby.

He also did  give me the awesome kids so that covers a lot of gift giving.

Now my younger sista gave me a handbag made of seat belts. She is all about the off beat. The bag is kinda cool and should fetch a nice price on Ebay. Thanks sis!

Now middle sista gave me jewels!!!

Pretty earrings small and dangly and an evil eye keeper away-er bracelet.

I’m actually wearing them now, but here’s a picture of the bracelet!  Thanks sis!

Now my big sis sent me a gift card to…..you guessed it…..every white middle class woman’s favorite fake french thrift store Anthropologie. Wooohooo!

I’m getting a whatnot! I’m getting a whatnot!

It’s awesome! Thanks big sis.

Then to make the best day ever even better China and her hubby Silver treated me to

Cirque De Soleil. It was a blast. Why the big fat man sitting right next to me had to get up and switch his seat just cus I was waving to  the performers I do not understand. It was a circus!

I was the one who should have changed seats seeing as he had to pass gas before the show started and I was not going to spend my evening smelling other people’s flatulence. I (kindly, I think) mentioned to him that the port o’ potties were just outside the bigtop.  Anyhoo, he moved, and I had plenty of room to wave my arm off.

The show was “Totem” and although not historically accurate (American Indians did not roller-skate) was a great performance.

Thanks to China and Silver for a perfect ending to a great day. Here’s me and China at Cirq.

So thanks to everyone for all the happy birthday wishes.

Thanks for all the fun.

Thanks for remembering me.

This is gmom.

Peace out.

Best Birthday Gift For Middle Class And White (me)

Anything from Anthropologie. It is the middle class woman’s cheap imitation of a French thrift store.

I especially like the authentic rust covered lawn furniture holding handcrafted soaps and lots of “whatnot”.   I want a whatnot now!  I totally could sell Anthropologie my lawn furniture for their store displays.                   

Tres chic! Can they pick it up before bulk trash gets here???                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

A bottle of single-malt scotch. Because I am too old for beer, it gives me gas.  I’m too snobby for cheap alcohol and I want to have something in the house that my old man won’t snicker at.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Organic Bath products made by someone named Holly. Because Holly would make the best most pricey organic stuff. Like soaps with tiny bits of grass and twigs. I love that. Holly Organics would tie a raffia bow around all her mass-produced …organics.  A charity associated with Holly Organics would be an added bonus.    See what you can do.                                                                                                                                    Maybe just a pint of  Ben and Jerry’s instead.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

  • A copy of the DVD White Chicks. Because it will get this white chick laughing seeing the Coen Brothers  doing dead on imitations of  white girls.
  • Teva shoes. Well made, imported from the middle east and so avant-garde.   They are the go to shoe for yoga class, bootcamp and the weekly psychiatric session.    One wants to make the right impression.

There that should get you started.

Get moving kids my birthday is Tuesday.

Oh and please no more Godiva chocolate (my relative’s default gift setting) or spa treatments (I work in a spa remember?)

This is gmom,

peace out.

Happy Birthday to me!

Chocolate Truffles by The Teenage Gourmet And Rose

Sammi’s back with a brand new rap…..

I had to try her vegan truffles.

She’s my all time favorite overachiever youngin’ (next to my Rosita of course).

Check this sweetheart out!

http://ateenagegourmet.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/chocolate-vegan-truffles/

3 ingredients, no cooking and she said they were the best (and they are healthy!!! I desperately want to believe that!).

So Rose had some time between college and work so I corralled her into the kitchen for another go at a recipe.

10 ounces of chocolate

3/4 cup of  full fat coconut milk – MAKE SURE II”S FULL FAT!!!

Break up the chocolate into small pieces.

Simmer the coconut milk on the stove.

Put the chocolate into the coconut milk and stir until combined.

Refrigerate for one hour or until the mixture is set enough so you can form bite size  balls with it.

Roll  each bite size chocolate ball in cocoa powder.

Shake it shake it shake it!!!

Awesome!!!!!!

Sammi was right!

They are amazing.

They taste like a high-end truffle.

Vegan tofu pie next!!!!

Thanks for the fun Teenage Gourmet!

This is gmom and Rose on a sunny Baltimore afternoon.

High on truffles.

Peace out.

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