You Gonna Eat All That?

A fork in one hand, a pen in the other.

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Location: Virginia, United States

(Biscuit Girl)

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Look at this face, is this not the sweetest little dog ever. Well, yes. Most of the time she is. However, she has one issue with our mailman. She wants to eat him and the mail he delivers.

Last year I posted about our insane dog, Sophie. Each and everyday when he arrives to deliver the mail, the dog goes into insane mode. This sweet little dog turns into a snarling, growling hell hound.

And to add to the enjoyment, our mail usually comes through the front door mail slot. I say usually because our mailman has been nice enough to leave the mail between the storm door and the front door. It's only when we have a sub on the route that the mail goes through the door into the awaiting jaws of destructo-dog. She's shredded Conusmer Reports, Southern Living, and other magazines, countless pieces of junk mail (good dog) and the occassional bill.

We thought we were safe from destruction with the mail being placed between the doors, but no. If there is anything near the front door, it becomes her target. If she can't get to the mail or the mailman whatever she can get her little teeth on will do.

Things like our neighbors newspapers that we were picking up for them while they were out of town, a bag with our new phone books (and keep in mind that our phone books are about 4" thick) and most recently a 1 gallon water jug.

Jim left two water jugs by the front door this weekend and when the mail arrived on Monday, Sophie took a chunk out of one.......then it tipped over. Thankfully with the bitten side facing up so only about 1/3 of the water leaked out. But I still came home to a wet foyer and one very satisfied dog. I told the mailman the other day that he'd have a nice break while we were on vacation. He laughed and said thanks. (But I really think he's gonna miss seeing the insane one every day.)


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Lazy bag o' bones

That's what I've been this month, nothin' but a lazy bag of bones. And looking back on my posts from last summer, I realized I was the same way last August. Hmmm....I think I see a pattern here. August is a hot month, we're extremely busy at the library with kids and summer programs and I come home from work exhausted. By the time we eat dinner, I'm ready to call it a night.

But hopefully that will all change......soon. Why? Two reasons.
1. School starts next week and
2. We're going on vacation.
Where, you ask? Why, we're heading to
New Smyrna Beach again. This will be the first time we've gone there by parents and no dog. Just us. ahhhhhh (Not that we don't love going there with the 'rents and the pooch).

I hope to come back relaxed and re-energized and ready to get back to my blog.

And hopefully, before we head to the beach, I'll finally get something up here about the cooking class my brother and I took last month.

Friday, August 18, 2006


I have only two words for the dinner I fixed tonight. Oh……..My………

Still feeling confident about my cooking skills after going to Galileo for a cooking class, I’ve been on a kick to make risotto lately. Something about that rich, creamy texture of risotto was speaking to me, loudly.

On a trip to Trader Joe’s this past weekend, I bought a box of Arborio rice. At least now I had it in the house to have on hand when I finally got around satisfying my craving.

We had about 10 scallops in the freezer (left over from our last trip to Wegman’s…..Fresh dry sea scallops, $9.99/pound…….If you have a Wegman’s near you go get some, they’re so good!) and some frozen tiger shrimp from Traders. They would be lovely with my risotto so I did a search online and found a recipe that I used as my base for tonight’s dinner.

It took longer than I thought to make the risottos but it was so worth it. And might I just brag on myself because this was the very first time I’ve ever made it…..and it turned out fantastic.

Jim helped out by cooking the shrimp and scallops while I finished up dinners main attraction. And this is what it looked like when we plated it.

The risotto was so smooth and creamy and a touch of black truffle oil at the end really made this dish stand out as one of the best things to come out of my kitchen in some time. This recipe will definitely be made again.

I hope to get something on here soon about the food we cooked over the past two weeks as well as my cooking class. Hopefully on Sunday if we’re not totally wiped from a big wedding we’re going to in Philly tomorrow.

Risotto with Parmesan and Truffle Oil

2 tbsp olive oil
3 1/2 ounces butter
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
8 ounces white wine
1½ quarts of vegetable or chicken stock
3 ounces parmesan cheese, grated
Truffle infused oil

Pour the stock into a saucepan, place it over a high heat and bring it to a boil then reduce it to a simmer.

In a large saucepan place the olive oil and half the butter, cook over moderate heatuntil the butter is melted. Add the onion to the pan and sweat until tender and transparent, add the garlic and saute for a minute longer. Add the rice to the pan and stir with a wooden spoon so that the rice is well coated. Stir in the white wine and simmer until absorbed.

Pour a ladleful of the simmering stock over the rice and stir until it has absorbed the stock, repeat this process until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is tender.

Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the remaining butter, and the parmesan, and a few drops of the truffle oil. Cover and set aside for a few minutes to let everything absorb. Serve.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Grouper Goodness

While my brother was up here for the weekend, we went to Wegmans. He was like a kid in a candy shop. I think we spent a little over 2 hours in the store, which included a quick bite for lunch.

While perusing the aisles, we stopped in the cheese shop and picked up some Humboldt Fog, a Gouda that had been aged three years and another cheese with morels and leeks. We pondered on whether or not to just make a meal of cheese, French bread and wine. That is, until we hit the meat and seafood section. I think there were a few grunts and non-verbal noises signifying approval. And that was from both of us. Suddenly dinner was being reformulated.
We already had some dried morels and fresh chanterelles in our cart so thoughts of what meat or fish would best go with them began running through our heads. We finally selected on some beautiful grouper fillets.

We popped them in the freezer when we got home because as it turns out we wouldn't be cooking them for a few days. But they were worth the wait.

First we made some cornbread and set that aside. Then pan seared the grouper with some potato slices and popped that in the oven to finish cooking. Next we sauteed the mushrooms (adding some baby bellas we also hand on hand), using the liquid from the morels, white wine and a little bit of butter to make a sauce.

We plated the fish on top of the potatoes and topped that with the mushroom sauce. The result was very tasty. Unfortunately we forgot to take a picture of the finished dish. Alas it is but a memory now.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

We'll return to our regularly scheduled program

Sorry about the lack of posts last week. But I was pooped. We had bouts of no A/C at the library (read: none for the better part of three days) during the hottest days of the year. But we're troopers and toughed it out. Albeit tired, sweaty and grumpy. And thankfully, the A/C was blissfully working the latter part of the week. Never mind that it was working A LOT and I froze may ass off in my office, cuz I wasn't about to complain. My logic is you can always throw on a sweater but there's just so much you can take off (before someone calls the cops or runs away screaming)

So I didn't feel much like blogging last week, or this weekend, or last night, or tonight. But I will get back to it here in the next few days. I have lots to write brother and I had our cooking class at Galileo (wonderful!), Jim and I fixed the most amazing scallops Sunday night for dinner (Delish) and I baked like a fiend all day Sunday (Baking helps me relax). Lots of pics for all this too. So stay tuned.........