You Gonna Eat All That?

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

My Photo
Location: Virginia, United States

(Biscuit Girl)

Friday, November 25, 2005

It's a wrap. Thanksgiving dinner, Day 2

This afternoon, I put the barbacoa back in the oven. After cooking it for another 2 hours, it was FINALLY done! Total cooking time: 9 1/2 hours. We tried some for lunch and had more for dinner.

So, was it worth it? The jury is still out on that one. Biscuit Boy would say yes. Biscuit Pup gives it two paws up. Me? It was good, but I know it could be better. And armed with this notion in mind, I'll give it one more try. We'll probably make it again for Christmas, but I'm going to go into negotiations with Biscuit Boy about making something else as well. Perhaps the barbacoa can be a lunch time dish.....hint, hint. That gives me the opportunity to make something I'm more confident in for dinner. Like my family's traditional Christmas lasagna, hint, hint.

This tradition began in 1976 and was our first Christmas in Tennessee after moving from New York. Keep in mind, Tennessee in 1976 did not know of yummy NY foods like bagels, bialy's, REAL pizza (not pizza hut), ect. So when mom realized that she couldn't get her favorite brands of pasta or tomato paste in the local stores, she saved enough of our recently moved from NY stock to make up a big ol' pan of lasagna for Christmas dinner. To us, it was the best meal we could have asked for. Good home cooking. And ever since, it has become our traditional Christmas dinner.

One memorable Christmas Eve, mom just finished making up her lasagna and realized that she didn't have any room in the fridge to store it overnight. Thankfully it was very cold outside, freezing to be exact, so mom wrapped up the pan and set it out in the enclosed deck on the table. The next morning, I woke up before anyone else and being the good daughter, brought in the lasagna and set it in the oven so it could thaw a little before it needed to be cooked. However, I forgot to tell mom what I had done. She wakes up about an hour later, shuffles into the kitchen, let's the dogs out (we had four at the time) and goes about getting coffee started. A few minutes later, we hear a blood curdling scream. It's mom and she's standing outside on the deck frantic because her lasagna is missing! She's yelling at the dogs thinking one of them dragged this huge,
heavy pan of lasagna out into the backyard. We're all standing at the door trying to calm her down when it dawns on me..... Sheepishly I say, "Hey mom, I already put the lasagna in the oven." Silence for about 5 seconds before we all start laughing while we try to get the thought of one of the dogs dragging about an empty lasagna pan around the back yard. But for some reason, the dogs failed to see the humor in it........ their thoughts.... "so close, soooooo close."

Labels: ,

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving Dinner - Plan B

We usually have my in-laws drive up from Tennessee for Thanksgiving. This year they are coming for Christmas instead. And looking ahead we decided to make a Mexican lamb dish called Barbacoa for Christmas dinner. Since we've never made barbacoa before, we decided to make a trial run of it for Thanksgiving. This way we would know how to tweak the recipe or decided to make something else all together.

Barbacoa is a Mexican version of barbeque. This one calls for a pan of veggies and water set underneath the roasting lamb. As the lamb cooks, the drippings go into the pan beneath it creating a soup that is served on the side. We first tried this dish at Andale, one of our favorite restaurants. It's what inspired us to try to make it at home.

My better judgement told me to put the lamb in the oven early, like before noon. But after consulting two of the three recipes I found, I decided to wait until about 2 this afternoon to begin cooking. Big mistake, BIG. It's now almost 8:30 and the lamb is STILL not done. Not even close. This is what it looked like as we put it in the oven.

So we rummaged through the freezer and are making stuffed grape leaves, a leftover hamburger and some Chinese noodles. Not what I had planned but at least it will be ready to eat before the lamb.

I guess we'll have to wait until tomorrow to see how it actually tastes. Then decide if we're going to still make it for Christmas or not. And if we do, you better believe that baby's going in the oven much earlier......say about day break.

Maybe tomorrow I'll let you know what we decided.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Sam - R.I.P.

Sam, the world's ugliest dog, has died. (a moment of silence, please)

I posted about him a while back. He was voted the world's ugliest dog three years in a row, for good reason.....he was one ugly critter.

But his mama loved him with all her heart. And as a pet owner, I know how hard it is to lose a beloved member of the family.

You can see Sam in all his glory in this CNN video as well as on his very own web site.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

10,000 Visitors!

My blog hit a milestone tonight. At 7:05 p.m. someone from Hopkinton, MA was my 10,000th visitor! And in a little less than 10 months too!
I told Biscuit Pup about the milestone and all she did was roll over so I could scratch her belly. Oh well, I guess when you're a dog, belly rubs are more important than blogs.

Thanks y'all.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Today I Bake......and bake.......and bake

Whenever I'm feeling a bit stressed out, I bake. And if the amount of baking equates to the amount of stress....then this was a doozie.

I work in a public library. And being a public facility, anyone is allowed to come in...... Most of the time people behave themselves but every once in a while someone needs a time out........and I'm not just talking about children. Adults can be just as bad, if not worse, than kids. And when the behavior of an adult comes to my attention, it usually means that behavior is bad. And "time out" for them usually means I've asked them to leave the building.

Yesterday, we had an adult who was in need of a time out. When she didn't leave I called the police (who arrived after she finally decided to leave). But at least it was overwith or so I thought.

Our friend decided to come back less than 2 hours later and she was just as bad as she was earlier. So the police got called again. And like the first time, she scampered off before they got there.

Ok......let's all take a deep cleansing breath........ Nope, didn't help because even though
she didn't come back for a third time, the staff and I stayed pretty stressed out. We wearily locked the doors at closing time, breathed a sigh of relief and went home. But not before I thanked the staff for having hung in there for the duration of the day.

By the time I got home I was mentally spent. I went to bed early and got up today wanting to bake. It seems the stress level was still pretty high.

I had been wanting to bake an apple pie with some apples I bought last week but I also had some pretty ripe bananas. And biscuit Boy had been asking me to make some bread. So I told myself that I could spend the day baking. Which I did.

Before I ate breakfast I put together some English Muffin Bread, set it to rise and took a shower. Then popped the bread in the oven and called Biscuit Boy who had flown home this weekend to visit his family. He was having a great time but looking forward to coming home to the bounty that would be awaiting him.

Once the bread was done I started making Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread. Biscuit Pup assisted by helping me keep the kitchen floor clean. I slopped a little bit of mashed banana on the floor and she was there in a flash to lick it up. Then I let her lick the spatula once I had the bread poured into the bread pan. She's an excellent assistant.

While the banana bread was baking, I looked up apple pie recipes. One caught my eye so I printed it out and set out to complete my baking trifecta.

My faithful assistant ate little bits of apple I tossed to her while I peeled and cored the apples. I conferred with her on whether or not to tweek the recipe and we decided to add a red pear I had laying around in the fridge. And just for quality control purposes, my assistant tried a bite of pear to be sure it met with her approval. It did.

So while the pie is baking, I am writing about my day in the kitchen. Biscuit Boy's plane is about to take off and will get here in about 2 hours which leaves me just enough time to finish baking the pie and take it out of the oven before I pick him up. Then he's taking me out for sushi.

And am I more relaxed, you ask? Why yes, yes I am. After spending the day slicing, dicing, peeling, coring, stirring, blending, measuring and mixing, I am relaxed. And the house smells wonderful.


WDB #9

Stephanie at Dispensing Happiness is hosting this weekend's Weekend Dog Blogging or WDB. I sent her two pictures of Biscuit Pup and decided to also post some more doggie pics here as well. So sit......stay........and enjoy.......Good Reader.

This is Biscuit Pup asleep in my lap while on vacation in Florida.

Biscuit Pup looking coy. Usually her ears are up.

This is KC. She lives with my parents. She can go from being this calm to bouncing off the walls in a matter of seconds. She's definately a daddy's girl.

This is Frazier, who
also lives with my parent. He's a mush and loves my mom more than anyone else in the world.

This is Java (the Boston Terrier) and George (the Schauzer). They live with my in-laws.


Monday, November 07, 2005

I think I shall call him ...... "Mini Me"

Every year at the library we have "Volunteer Recognition" which is our way of gathering all our volunteers together to let them know just how much we appreciate what they do. This year we are holding this event in November and tying it in with the Thanksgiving holiday but calling it "Giving Thanks to our Volunteers."

Staff usually sign up to bring various homemade goodies. It adds a more personal touch to the affair. I looked at the sign up sheet and noticed that most of the staff were planning to make savory dishes so I opted for dessert. Cheesecake to be exact. On the sign up sheet I wrote, "Cheesecake, flavor to be determined." Now all I had to do was determine what kind......oh there are so many I could choose from.....traditional NY Style, chocolate, chocolate chip, key lime, pumpkin, pina colada, etc. But then it hit me.....Red Velvet. Yes, I would make a Red Velvet Cheesecake.

Last December, Southern Living magazine had a recipe for this cheesecake. I told my sister about it and she made it. Ever since, she's been asking me if I made yet. I hadn't until now. Go ahead sis, ask me.....go ahead.....
The recipe called for a 9-inch springform pan but all I had were 8-inch ones and mini ones. I used one of my 8-inch pans and decided to put the extra into one of the mini pans. This way I had a little cheesecake for Biscuit Boy and me. I have rarely had any leftovers when I bring a cheesecake to work which greatly disappoints Biscuit Boy but now I had a solution.

And how did it taste.....delicious. We ate half of the mini cheesecake and have the other half waiting for dessert tonight......mmmmm

Here is the recipe:

Red Velvet Cheesecake

1½ cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup butter, melted
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1½ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sour cream
½ cup whole buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. distilled white vinegar
2 (1 oz.) bottles red food coloring
1 (3 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Garnish: fresh mint sprigs

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 1 tbsp. granulated sugar; press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

Beat 3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese and 1½ cups granulated sugar at medium-low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute. Add eggs and next 6 ingredients, mixing on low speed just until fully combined. Pour batter into prepared crust.

Bake at 325° for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300°, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is firm. Run knife along outer edge of cheesecake. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Cover and chill 8 hours.

Beat 1 (3 oz.) package cream cheese and ¼ cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth; gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Remove sides of springform pan. Garnish, if desired.

Labels: , ,