Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Calling all pets

Just a reminder--

On your blog post please a wonderful pix of you furry, hair, or scaly friend and don't forget a link back to us. We'll be collecting the next Food Bloggy Pets of the Month posts for September so get your permalinks sent by the 29th (or so) of August. Send them to our e-mail,

Then everyone drop by around the 1st of September to see who we've corralled.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

baby shower food

first off, my apologies for being m.i.a. on this blog for so long. june 12 - july 31 was a black hole in my life due to some crazy s&*% going on at work - thank you department of homeland security. then i took a week off to hibernate. then i tried my hand at a little party planning and small-time catering, which kept me busy cooking, but with no time to post.

anyway, the reason for the party planning is that my good friend sarah is having her first baby, so i was happy to co-host a baby shower with another friend. sarah's expecting a little boy and, as she and her husband are true bruins, the colors planned for the new addition to the family is blue and yellow. i went with a rubber ducky theme for the party...

rubber ducky centerpiece
rubber ducky centerpiece

more rubber duckies
more rubber duckies

the buffet
the buffet

for the food, i planned a pan-asian theme, which was a good reason to make cool salads and hors d'oeuvres that would also complement the family specialty egg rolls and fried rice that sarah's sister planned to make. here's what the final menu looked like:

tofu satay with peanut dipping sauce
tofu satay with peanut dipping sauce

ellie's sweet & spicy soy chicken wings
kitchen wench's sweet & spicy soy chicken wings

chinese chicken salad
chinese chicken salad

asian beef noodle salad
asian beef noodle salad

the chicken salad didn't follow any particular recipe, just shredded iceberg lettuce and napa cabage, topped with shredded chicken (costco rotisserie chickens rule!), sliced almonds, toasted sesame seeds, scallions and fried wontons and served with feast from the east salad dressing - a westside favorite. the asian beef noodle salad was a combination of a few different recipes for the dressing for the bean thread noodles and the sliced beef and served on a bed of spinach and garnished with basil, mint, cilantro, carrots and scallions.

for dessert, we had cupcakes...

cupcake tower

ducky cupcakes
duckies up close

the cupcakes were yellow cake with buttercream frosting piped on with a pastry bag and topped with rubber duckies molded out of wilton's candy. mooncrazy found me a cool cupcake stand to make out of styrofoam disks, ribbon and wrapping paper. to be honest, i cheated with the buttercream and used frostin' pride, which comes in a milk carton in the frozen section at smart and final. you thaw it out and then whip it up with your mixer. it's very easy and the frosting is lite and not overly sweet.

anyway, a good time was had by all and there were tons of leftovers to eat all week!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What a tasty leftover

While we were visiting our friends in Canada, they had a get together with friends out at our campsite. We ended up with 30 + friends and a fantastic BBQ. Nothing special but burgers and hot dogs on the grill, salads, my well known hoosier style potato salad, that sister I believe posted here on PBE. But the best part was the fresh corn on the cob. Wow!!! Dear friend Beverly J brought the corn, way too much I might add, and enjoyed by all.

There lies the reason for this post. What does one do with left over cooked corn on the cob. Well, the next day my husbands family came to visit. I took all the corn off the ears, combined that cooked corn with chopped fresh tomatoes, a bit of cilantro and made a cold salad. What a hit that was. I suppose you could add a salad dressing of your choice such as an oil and vinegar type. But certainly not needed with fresh corn. I'll see if I have a photo but I'm sure you get the picture. And when you have some left over corn try this if you haven't already cause it's a tasty leftover.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

An all-American condiment

These are so easy. If you've never made pickles try this one. I found the recipe in the back of Cooking Light.

I used the small pickling cukes because I like their flavor. Sometimes the bigger ones can have a bitter flavor. If you do use the standard cucumber make sure the skins have not been waxed.

*I was out of mustard seeds so I used a half teaspoon of Creole Mustard from a jar.

6 cups thinly slice pickling cucumbers (about 2 lbs.)
2 cups thinly sliced onions
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds*
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced.

Place 3 cups cucumber in a medium glass bowl, top with 1 cup onion. Repeat with remaining cukes and onions.

Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a small sauce pan; stir well. Bring to a boil; cook one minute. Pour over cucumber and onions; let cool. Cover and chill at least four days in fridge. I removed mine from the bowl and put in a tall glass quart canning jar. It took up less room in the refrigerator.

Next time I make these I think I'll add some small peppers because I love the hot and sweet flavors together.

Note: Pickles may be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Fish & Chips Canada style

One thing I do look forward to when visiting our friends is dining on good fish and chips. And dang they sure are good here.

Now I must also say that some folks up here eat gravy on their fries, ahemmmmmm!!!

But I being the true pseudo Canadian that I am, eh!!! I enjoy good malt vinegar on my fries.

Now I hate posting these photos of the fish cause my sweet sister moon is horribly allergic to fish of any kind.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Something of interest

Summer has hit the PBE women head on. With Doodles out of country and the lil bird tied to her desk at work and me, I admit it, not been cooking anything new for a while--we have not been posting much. So I'm not ashamed with just giving our readers a link to another site. I think it's nice to find new cooking sites and since this one has always been on my Bloglines for a while I thought I'd share.

Nicole at Baking Bites has quite a site, very complete with recipes and baking tips. I still make the marshmallows that I found on her site when it was called Baking Sheet. Today she has a great little quick post for rolling out pie crust. I use my grandmother's rolling pin and an old rolling sheet from Tupperware. I've tried other things but this is the combo for me.

So find yourself some summer fruits to wrap around or check out her post for Lemon Meringue Pie.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mexican Sauces

In the spirit of house cleaning I ran across this photo and can't believe I didn't post this. While at my local ethnic market a few months ago I noticed these little packages of sauces and because I'll buy anything that's new and compact, only four ounces, to have on hand I picked up a few plus they were only a half a buck. What a bargain.

Now, I don't use very many canned products because they are usually loaded with sodium and they never taste as fresh so why bother. Well, these little packs are great to throw into something that needs a little lift. I put one in the rice the other night and it was great. I was amazed to fine they had a nice fresh taste. One of the kitchen staples you need when the fresh tomatoes, in the winter, are tasteless.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Our gardener friend always loads down my beloved with bags full of goodies in the summer. This time we received some lovely peaches, a variety of tomatoes and this almost dry bush of peppers. My problem is I don't know what to do with them. They look like they are starting to dry, some still fresh and plump while other starting to wrinkle a bit.

Any help would be appreciated. A name. A recipe. They look like those peppers in Kung Pao dishes. I was thinking of slipping one or two into some refrigerator pickles I made. Love spicy pickles.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Another reason to love summer is our peaches. We get them all the month of August from local farms and they are yummy. I buy just a few each week so I have them on hand for fruit smoothies. My beloved enjoys that for breakfast when he knows it's going to be a hot morning.

The other night I had guests and wanted a light bit of sweet for dessert. Grilled Peaches sounded good so here's what I did:
  • beat together some heavy cream and mascarpone cheese
  • pealed and cut it half some fresh peaches
  • lightly oiled with canola oil both sides of the fruit
  • grilled on a hot grill for about two or three minutes a side--don't move them you want those wonderful grill marks
  • sliced some pound cake and assembled the dessert
I decided I could have even done without the pound cake and just a dollop of whipped cheese on the bottom and top. This was quite tasty, light and a great end to a meal.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Wanted: Sou chef to assist with recipe

America's Test Kitchen has so many good idea but I have a problem with their remakes of recipes. They have more steps than the plans to build a nuclear reactor and that produces way too many dirty dishes--the recipe, not the reactor. Sure, it only takes them a fraction of the time because they have some intern filling little bowls with a half teaspoon of this and a 1/4 cup of that and before you know it you've a sink full.

Now on to this delicious dish, Stir-fry Chicken with Bok Choy. Again, it isn't so much the recipe as the way to prepare. The whole idea is to protect the delicate chicken from the hot oil of stir-frying. Their take on this was to "velvet" the chicken and stir-fry but not in the true sense of the Chinese tradition. I've done a velvet before which includes dipping chicken in egg whites then in simmering broth. Way too much work, this is easier.

Coat the raw chicken breast pieces in a mixture of one each tablespoon of sesame oil and cornstarch before browning a single layer in a hot pan, then turning to brown the other side. It did save time and use less oil.

The rest of the recipe was your typical stir-fry of the vegetables, then add meat, then add a final sauce which was quite tasty.

Stir-Fry Sauce
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon oyster sauce (I omitted this due to allergies)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Stir until everything is coated and slightly thickened, about a minute.

I've made this twice, once following the recipe and other changing the veggies which is fine as long as you keep the proportions.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Dog, Cat and Bird Days of August

Welcome to our first Food Bloggy Pets of the Month for August. So many of our Foodie Friends have animals they love so we thought we'd give them a little blog time. Thanks to all who've sent a link and don't forget to visit these adorable pets on their food blogs.

Didn't make this month's deadline? Check out the procedure for September. Don't forget your link back to PBE

Our very first is darling Ziggy from Soul Fusion Kitchen. Seems like he was quite the party animal and was "over-served". Take a well deserved nap, Ziggy. Hopefully we'll see your eyes next month.

***************************************************************************Next we have Chester, a Cockatiel in Laura Rebecca's Kitchen who seems to have an interest in cooking, ahem, and not being cooked. Laura's repainted the blog. You look marvelous in pink!

Mr Woofy joins us, too. What a big fluffy darling he is after his bath even if it does put him in a funk. Ellie at Kitchen Wench, his caretaker, has a very thoughtful post this month. If you care about food and the environment take a look.

One of PBE's own is Buddy the cat and since Doodles and Company are in Canada with no 'net connection I knew she'd want to participate in our first ever Bloggy Pets.

Looks like Buddy the cat called "shotgun" first and Doodles is in the back seat but what actually happened is their truck is so wide the two of them can sit comfortably together.

Buddy is having a great time on the road though is said to enjoy their time camp because he gets his human's full attention.

Read more about Buddy and the Gypsy Caravan on Doodles other blog: Tombstone Tumbleweed.

Another on of PBE's pets is Buddy the dog, I know it can be confusing but rest assured, they are never in the same house at the same time.

Buddy dog lives with me, Sister Moon and my beloved. He seems a bit retrospective but in actuality he's just waiting for dinner.

These are lil bird's doggies and as you can see, the two have just finished their spa treatments and are relaxing with my beloved. Max is on top, he's the youngest and Multi is tucked on the side. They are all watching the baseball game, Go Dodgers.

What's on their menu? Only the finest whitefish and sweet potato casserole. No recipes here for that one.

Thanks to our participants. Look back next month for another installment of Food Bloggy Pets of the Month.