Thursday, December 30, 2010

We have running water!

Electricity comes tomorrow.... and just if our appliances were working, we'd be good to go.

Doesn't that tile and countertop look great? Shout out to my lady Nicole at ASCO for making that happen! With 12" of snow on Monday, they weren't able to make it. But... Tuesday am, bright and early, they show up! It was the best! Now we may have it all done by new years!

Well, all but a few minor issues. The vallance doesn't match... the microwave fan doesn't work... the fridge has a dent. Here's to gettin it all working soon!

But running water! I can eat off real plates again and use our dishwasher! Wow.

Still eating microwave dinners, but this should be the last time! Stove finished in am. Let's hope it works.

Ps. First trip to wegmans today. As much as I dislike nj driving, I might have to make this my new routine. Wowsers.
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Banana Bread

How is it that I've been blogging for all these months, and my banana bread hasn't made it in yet? Or am I not capable of using my own search feature?

Well, I need to make banana bread today (I'm subsidizing my payments to the plumber with baking... yeah, you heard that right), in a borrowed kitchen.  Since I wouldn't have access to my cookbook down the street, I was thinking- "Great, I'll put my blog to good use.... just find the recipe on..."

But the recipe isn't here!

Not yet... so here it goes. Of course, from my favorite baking book of all time, the Pilsbury one I mention every other post.

3/4 c sugar (I tend to use half white and half brown)
1/2 c butter, soft
2 eggs
2-3 ripe bananas (I freeze mine at the sign of first brown spots, so take them out a minute to defrost first)
1/3 c milk
1 t vanilla
2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 c walnuts, optional
1/2 c chocolate chips, optional

Mix together sugar and butter until fluffy.  Add eggs, bananas, milk, and vanilla.  Add flour, slak, baking soda, nuts, and chocolate chips.  Finish mixing, then pour into greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Oh yeah, and since the kitchen isn't finished (just a little cake to bribe the plumber :)) I'm borrowing an oven. Thanks MK... even though you don't know I'm at your house! (I brought my own butter...)

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Turkey Leftovers Soup

Lots of people have asked me over the last few months if I enjoy the holidays since they are surrounded by food, and therefore, lots of cooking.  To tell you the truth, that's why I take a holiday from cooking at the holidays- everyone ELSE is cooking!!!  I take advantage of all the meals prepared by others, and savor the moments when I get to try someone else's cooking.

But, every holiday must come to an end.  Considering I haven't cooked in forever outside of a microwave (and I have nothing worthy to report on, except for Chicken Tikki Masala from Trader Joe's), I decided it was time to end the "vacation" and help MK with a soup made from leftover Christmas turkey. 

To be 100% honest, I was starving and wanted to eat as soon as possible. (Plus, she made the stock ahead of time, so all the hard work was really over...)

She showed me her recipe binder, and this November 1987 recipe from Redbook written by Jane and Michael Stern (who have their own traveling food blog and weekly stint on NPR's Splendid Table).  I tried googling this recipe to share it with all of you, but couldn't find it.  I immediately emailed Jane and Michael, and informed them that my web search yielded no efforts, and I hoped they were still making this great soup!

So, here it is: Jane & Michael Stern's Old-Fashioned Homemade Turkey Soup from Redbook, November 1987:

To make stock:
Meaty carcass and skin from turkey
3 ribs of celery
3 carrots
2 large onions
black pepper
2 bay leaves
2 t salt

Cut meat of carcass, and save for soup.  Place carcass in large pot, and break it up so it fits. Add skin, carrots, celery, onions, pepper, bay leaves and salt, and 12-15 cups of water to cover.  Boil, then reduce to low and simmer for 4 hours covered. Stir occassionally. 

Cool broth, drain in colander, refridgerate until cool.  Discard all bones and vegetables.  Once cool, skim off the fat.
1/4 c butter
3 ribs of celery
3 carrots
2 onions
2 zucchihi
2 cloves garlic
1/4 t rosemary
1/4 t thyme
1/2 c angel hair pasta (which is a 1/4 of a box, in my mind)
3 c cooked turkey meat
1/2 c parsley

In a saucepan (maybe a Le Creuset), add butter, and diced celery, carrots, onions, zucchini, garlic, and herbs, to cook for 7 to 10 minutes. Add 8 cups of broth, and bring to a boil.  Add noodles, and reduce to low. Simmer covered for 15 minutes and add turkey meat and parsley and cook for 3 more minutes.  Add S&P.

To be honest, I may never make the stock, so I'll just use cooked chicken and bouillion if/when I make this again!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

My mom's Xmas dinner

Joy of cooking, for the sweet potatoes.. and who knows what else.  All recipes she probably just pulled out of her head since she makes them all the time.  The turkey was stuffed with lemons and herbs, like rosemary, and covered in olive oil.

Instead of a big family Christmas dinner, there were just five of this year.  My mom roasted a turkey (*the moooost moist and delicious turkey ever), made mashed potatoes, a nice flavorful gravy, my favorite green beans, and sweet potato casserole with some spiced pecans I brought.  I enjoyed a delightful Chocolate Bock beer too.

It was a nice change of pace for the big feast and gathering.  We did get together with the family on Christmas Eve, and that was nice too.  My grandmother enjoyed a few servings of "punch," that my cousin made, consisting of rainbow sherbet, ginger ale, fruit punch (and fruit punch ice ring), and sparkling water.  She liked it so much, she tried eating every drop with her fork.
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Half a new outlet

Oh the potential!
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New wall color...

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Cork was installed today! We opened the fridge box... and pains dry! Not much more progress until after Xmas I bet...
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Friday, December 17, 2010


we had the countertop templated today and pulls installed... and the light valance. Next week floors and paint!
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Cabinet doors!

It's not going to be purple although Jw would live it!
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Too bad it doesn't work... not yet!
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Not much of an update

Gutted on Monday... lots of plumbing, electric and deliveries! Cabinets came today. So did our new hot water heater! Moving drainlines and gas tomorrow... electric on Monday.... and cabinets in by wed/thursday.

We've been eating out. Needless to say. I stocked up on Chinese earlier in the week for lunches. Our living room looks like a college dorm room meets Lowes loading dock.

Very exciting! Luckily im sooooo busy at work I haven't even noticed...
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