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 ‘organic’ 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.

I Need You Mom. No I Don’t. Yes I do.

Rose. Age 21. Daughter number 3, sixth child.

Fell off a moped during the final afternoon of labor day  beach vacation.

Broke both right forearm bones.

Road Rash” up and down her legs.

Drove her back to Baltimore to Union Memorial Hospital and the best upper extremity surgeons on the East Coast.

Now she has some hardware in her arm. A plate, pins and screws pulling the broken pieces all together. It’s been a long couple of weeks.

Before her surgery, she cried. I spoke softly to her and said the prayers from her childhood to comfort her.

After her surgery I slept by her. Gave her the pain medications, help her with all her needs, took her to the doctor and made repeated calls to him when she had questions.

I wiped her tears as she saw the track surgical scar run down her arm and the new shape of the back of her hand.

I handled the insurance company, her school medical leave letters and hooked her up with a decent physical therapist.

Now it’s 3 weeks post-op and the girl is back to normal.

Offended if I ask her if she wants me to cut a tag off the back of her shirt.

The cuddle-muffin who lay in my bed night after night is angry that I appeared at her PT appointment.

Miss Independent is back and I am left wondering if that momentary bond we shared when she was in pain and scared ever really happened.

Husband And Wife

Husband took gmom away for an escape to a seaside hotel ala waterfront view. Good food, nice amenities and a jacuzzi.

A lot to be said for stepping out of the fray of home life however brief. It was 48 hours of him and me. Hmmm.

We are a couple that are family centric. Putting out fires continuously with our kids and business. Keeping the American dream in site but damn if it’s always out of reach.

But for 2 days, we slept late, and turned off the phones, did just what we felt felt like.

Watched the water.

The sun setting on the bay.

I found my balance reflected in his eyes and he didn’t flinch or turn away.

My heart beat slow again when I felt his warmth surround me in the night.

This is gmom.

Renewed and a happy camper.

Peace out kids.

I Found My Happy Place! He Wears Diapers!

 

The organic baby made his first project in daycare!

Marshmallow Fluff smeared on a paper plate with Fruit Loops stuck on it!

 

And he’s a cheap date!

Ya gotta love that!

Next time I go looking for my happy place I’ll start looking while on my knees but this time…

I’ll open my eyes.

Love to all.

This is gmom,

peace out.

Alcohol: It’s What’s For Dinner. Featuring Cujo The Dog

Cujo The Dog Ready For A Fun Evening

Husband is gone for the duration.  Saving lives, solving problems, hopefully not reading this.

Me. I’m enjoying a nice summery beverage.

Whiskey straight.

Straight out of the bottle  while standing at the kitchen sink in case I gag. Bad reflex when one is not use to drinking. I use to drink. Pretty pink and soft snowy colored drinks with fruit. Dressed up with girlfriends, going out,dancing, pretty, flirty.

See what happens when you have kids! You are reduced to slugging booze over the kitchen sink. Effects the same though.

I’m funnier, I’m pretty and I’m great company. Just ask Cujo the dog, who by the way has suddenly learned English. I know! I (hic) can’t believe it either!

Say something Cujo

I in turn have learned to bark. So between his English and my barking we’ve pretty much got the dictionary covered.

It turns out Cujo greatly resents my keeping an organic kitchen, and frankly I can’t seem to remember why I do either.

I don’t really care about cows. I’d eat most any animal if it’s seared properly and has a nice char.

Cujo! Come back here! Play inside.

Cujo would be yummy I bet.

Americans, we don’t eat dogs or cats.

It’s a cultural thing.

In the Asiatic countries people eat all sorts of crap delectable yummies. Monkeys, dogs (including border collies) bats, snakes.

Cujo let's pretend your the crinimal and I'm an (hic) ociffer.

I’m certain if Taco Bell made a Border Collie Burrito we’d all be chowing down no problemo.

Juco why you hanging with Bart inside come on don't be ascared-redy-cat.thing

Where my little buddy Cujo go?

 Cujo, here Cujo.

I dunno whas goin on with Cujo. He usually (hic) very friendly.

———————————————————————————————————–

Cujo actually goes in and out of the house through the opening in the screen at the door.

Alas, since last evening he has lost all ability to speak..and won’t come near me.

I’m sure in a few weeks he’ll get over it.

This is gmom,

peace out.

Down The Rabbit Hole

For all  of you following my blog husband is still away overseas.

Here is what has changed at  home while the man who holds the string of your kite is gone.

Number one: You might accidentally kill one or  2 of your children.

Normally, in the night Bart comes in, he drives ones of the biofuel trucks and comes in at 3 or 4 a.m. I’ll half wake up and hear him kick off his shoes, shuffle into the shower, scrounge around the kitchen and go to bed.

But without husband here, I immediately reach for the gun.

I go up the stairs gun poised, ready to defend against any intruder. It never dawns on me that Cujo is upstairs happily bopping around.

Bart turns and sees me. Without a word he takes the gun out of my hands, removes the clip and tells me to go back to bed before I hurt myself.

Okay,sorry.

Number 2: You might let your guard dog sleep on your husband’s $200 Brooks Brother’s robe, maybe even on the bed.Everyone needs to be special sometimes.

Number 3: You might stop taking showers  often. I mean what’s the point? This goes for changing into nighties as well.

Number 4: You may suddenly realize that a plate of french fries makes a perfectly good dinner, even better while eaten in front of the TV.

Number 5: You may realize that you don’t have to water the “effing lawn everyday, or pick up your dog’s  poop. I mean who made these rules anyway? Poop is organic..it’s like compost.

Number 6: Turns out you don’t have to go and check on your neighbor just because it’s 103F outside. Just a big “ole, hope you’re still alive Edna!  Yelled out an open window does just fine.

Number 7: You have the opportunity to go though all husband’s secret guy stuff. Unfortunately this has yielded nothing! Nothing!

I hope this give you some good ideas for the next time your superhero flies off.

This is gmom.

Down the rabbit hole.

peace out.

We Are Family Like That

When my brother’s fatal prognosis was told to our family. We were grouped together surrounding his wife. Hands all around her. On shoulders. On knees. Supporting and holding.

We are family like that. We hold each other up.

We listened intently to everything the doctor was saying not noticing my mother walking away. My elder sister noticed first.

Where is Mom?

We went to the hospital hallway and saw my mother running down the hospital hallway.  For myself, I had a moment of wanting to let her go. She had the right idea. Run Mom Run. But there was no where to run to. We went after her. Like the Keystone cops. We caught her, crying and struggling, out of control. We surrounded her. Someone brought a chair.

It’s okay mom, it’s okay,it’s going to be okay…

We put hands all around her. Held her. Supported her.  All of us, Including my sister in law.

We are family like that.

Now I understand why she ran.

But there really is no running from life.

These 5 revitalizing days alone at the beach have reminded me, that I am not alone in my struggles.  I have hands all around me. Holding me. Supporting me.

We are family like that.

Carousels

Hoo, 20 months old pointed desperately at the carousel.

“Oh gosh, that’s fun let’s take him on!”

Good idea, right?

Started out okay. His mama, Eggs  sat with him on one of the painted ponies.

We waited for the ride to start.

The Calliope played the tinny tune while we, Hoo’s fan club stood at the fence and waved madly.

 

Then the meltdown.

Hoo started crying and slithering in that way he does where the only thing you can do is gather bunches of his clothes and drag him up off the floor like spilt milk.

The carousel started up and Eggs quick tossed Hoo on to the chariot seat and held on. Hoo cried and wrestled pointing at the horses. Eggs tosses him back up on to a horse and jumps on behind him…and he cries…and he cries.

We his cheering section…are  laughing our ever-loving’ heads off.

“You’re doing it Hoo! Yay Hoo! You’re riding!” We called every time he went by, then we collapsed in hilarious laughter until he came around again…still crying, with Eggs hanging on to him.

“Yay Hoo! You are awesome dude! You are riding!”

Finally the carousel stopped. Eggs carried Hoo over to us and happily handed him over….and…he started crying!

What is it? Why are you crying now?

Of course he wanted to go back on the carousel again.

That destroyed us. We couldn’t stop laughing after that.

He rode the carousel all day long.

 

If you ever wonder is the world going crazy or is it you.

Hang out with a 2-year-old. Chances are (sigh) it’s you.

I mean me.

This is gmom,

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.

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!

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