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Archive for the ‘cooking’ Category

Supper tonight.

Chicken enchiladas (with Gardein chik’n) and calabacitas.  I’d planned to make these before our company came a week ago, so no problem, right?

Ahem.

Enchiladas, in a manner quite peculiar to themselves, require enchilada sauce.  Surprising, I admit, but there it is.

I did not remember to buy enchilada sauce.  I confess.  Also, I did not get the half-and-half for the calabacitas, nor yet the Anaheim pepper I like to use instead of green.

We continue to the tale.

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Two cans of tomato puree, a half packet of taco seasoning, white pepper (enough to make me sneeze), dried cilantro, dehydrated garlic, and a bit of salt =/not = enchilada sauce.  It didn’t taste Italian, so I think that passes.

The calabacitas though…I had a small can of chopped jalapenos and put that in in place of the missing anaheim pepper.  Anaheim peppers are not really hot.  Why I always forget that jalapenos are, I will never know.

I put in some cream and almond milk in place of the half-and-half, and plenty of cheese.  I tasted the calabacitas.  Oops.

In order to eat them, I required large dollops of sour cream.  Still made my nose run and my stomach hot (I’m not THAT bad, stop laughing!).  So I, of course, had recourse to a small bowl of chocolate brownie ice cream.

All better. *bliss*

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Trigger warning: this post is all (mostly) about wonderful food.  Back. away. from. the. fridge.

I made peach muffins for breakfast (sorry, no picture) that were appreciated even by the non-fruit-lover in our midst (looking at you, Todd!).  Then Kent and Todd rushed off to the Pima Air and Space Museum to geek out over the planes while Iryna and I got down to business (or up to mischief?) in the kitchen.

Iryna concocted dark chocolate-almond meringue torte, while I attacked the butternut squash with wild rice and cranberries.  I had gathered the ingredients beforehand, since it’s quite far to the stores here, but realized in the wee hours of the morning that I had neglected to buy a butternut squash.  Only a main ingredient, no problem.  So I’d gotten up early (pre-muffins) and acquired a squash from the nearest venue. Eleven miles away. Sigh.

Iryna was meticulous with the meringue, and I took a break from squash to melt the chocolate and help dot with almonds.

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Yes, it was a decadent as it looks! *swoons*

I finished up the butternut-wild rice-cranberry combo — it made a LOT! and we headed off to meet our starving geeky boys.

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We had heard there was an exhibit of Frida Kahlo art at the Tucson Botanical Gardens, so we thought we’d check that out.  It turned out to be only biographical art by other people (though it was still interesting), so not the absolute win we’d hoped for.  But, not having been to the Tucson Botanical Gardens, we didn’t know about the butterfly house.

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Black butterfly open…

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…and closed.

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I thought this one looked like an old colorized photo.

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Blue poison arrow frog

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Three kinds: blue morpho (closed) on the left, don’t know the center, and owl butterfly on the right.

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Kent kept having them land on him because of his yellow shirt

We couldn’t get good pictures of the blue morphos’ open wings because they Don’t. Sit. Still.  Rather, when they’re still, their wings are closed.  And when they’re in motion, they are In Motion! Sort of like putting a bunch of preteen girls on sugar and crack and letting them loose in a Justin Bieber concert.  Like that.  Gorgeous, but we couldn’t even video them!

In the garden proper, there were cacti, of course, various exhibits relating to Frida Kahlo, and some surprises for us non-native Arizonans.

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Afterwards, we got the obligatory kombucha for Kent and Iryna, and rattled around down in Old Tucson.  I hadn’t seen all the neighborhoods around, and a lot of the houses were really cute and inviting.  Not the more warehouse-y style I usually see.

We met Kent’s mom at El Charro for gorgeous Mexican food: tamales, chimichanga burritos, and enchiladas.

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Again, we were too tired to do anything but fall into bed when we left the restaurant.  Day Two: Achievement Unlocked.

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Girl with a Pearl Earring-esque?

 

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something you made

 

“something you made”

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So I ran my first race this morning – the Turkey Day 5K!  There were over 20,000 people running, they said, and lots of people dressed up in turkey hats, costumes, etc.  Some people were wearing other costumes; I saw a Pilgrim couple and a Native American couple (dressed up, that is; they didn’t look Native American to me!), a candy corn, a Hulk, and some other leftover Hallowe’en costumes.  Most everyone else was wearing the orange shirt we got.  I wore what I usually wear to jog – it was 50 degrees and sunny, and at one point I was wishing I actually wore my shorts.

I started near the front, probably thirty seconds to a minute after the start time, and it was weird because I had to run short steps because there were so many people crowded in.  I wove around and tried to get where I could run my stride.  I think I was actually running pretty fast because about halfway through I was suddenly super tired.  I’ve been running 5K the whole time, especially the last couple months it’s been at least that if not more, but my time has been just around 10-11 minute miles.  (I did get a 9:11 minute mile one day that was 28 degrees and I was COLD!)  So today I actually had to stop at the 2-mile marker and walk a little (I had a stitch too), and again at the 2.5-mile marker, just for a second.  Even with that, they said 32:20 when I crossed the finish line!

Kent and I hung around for another 20 minutes or so, looking for the one guy dressed up as a turkey.  He had started at the back of the pack and Lifetime Fitness (the sponsor of the race) was going to donate $1 to Second Harvest Heartland (our local food shelf) for every person he passed.  I saw a lot of turkeys, but I wasn’t sure which one he was.

Then we went to Kent’s cousins’ house for Thanksgiving dinner.  I brought roasted winter veggies (parsnip, carrot, acorn squash, sweet potato and purple potato, red onion, turnip, etc.) and apple crisp with crystallized ginger and cranberries.  I was sort of good but not really…who can pass up pecan pie and stuffing?  Not me!  🙂  We sang some Christmas carols and played some games.  During the afternoon it clouded over and got cold and snowed about an inch!  All the evergreen trees had beautiful white frosting…I do love winter!

All told, it’s been a lovely Thanksgiving day — I am especially thankful for my warm house and for my body that is getting more in shape every day (well maybe except today)!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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I had a hankering for baked beans and brown bread the other week, so I stopped by Whole Foods and picked up some Jacob’s Cattle beans, which according to John Gould in his book The House that Jacob Built (a book I love dearly), are the only beans to use for baked beans.  He also says to use a well-seasoned bean pot on a wood stove, and to put in salt pork (or bacon), but I had to adjust a little.  I used a crockpot and some G. Washington broth.  And a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, Maple Baked Beans.

The beans turned out really thick and juicy, although if I do it again, I will put in more beans per broth.  Then I needed to find the brown bread.  I remembered buying brown bread here somewhere, but since this is the Midwest, it’s easier to buy lefse in the grocery store than New England brown bread!  I thought about making some, but I didn’t have any cans.  So I started looking online to see if I could find out where it was sold.  I found some on Amazon I could have gotten with free 2-day shipping (yay Amazon Prime!), but I wanted it NOW.  I finally found some at Lund’s, which is five minutes from my house, and I ran and bought four cans, although they were the kind with raisins…aaah, it’s ok.  And yes, the B&M company is based right in Portland, ME — a little taste of Downeast Home! 🙂

So today for lunch I sat down with some maple baked beans, brown bread, and steamed broccoli with salt and single-source olive oil from Spain….Ahhhh, bliss. 🙂 Who needs turkey?

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28 songs scanned

8 quarts of tomato puree canned

and 3 pints of apple butter canned

1 large pot of apple butter cooking

1 messy church cleaned — or at least enough for now

2 classes taught (1 good 1 bad)

1 post-observation conference and the accompanying paperwork (grr)

2 piano lessons

1 pot of stew made — and eaten

1 pot of beans cooking

5 loads of laundry done

1 grocery shopping list done — almost!

5 books read

now…

back to clean the church some more!

 

That is all.

(except that it wasn’t all today.  Some of those were yesterday.)

 

Is this a poem? 😉

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