The Grand Illusion

So It’s been said we all grow up.  I’m here to point out that is not always true.

Exhibit A:

It looks like an adult’s lunch box.  Looks can be deceiving, lol.

Exhibit B:

Besides having an array of toys I have pop tarts, fruit bowl and a peanut butter snack bar for lunch. HA HA HA.

I am Peter Pan!!!


Changing The Recipe – Kitchen Sink Mama O’Donnell’s Hamburger Stew

I’ve made my Grandmother’s Hamburger Stew for years.  Sometimes I’m 100% to the recipe but other times I need to make changes.  My wife isn’t a fan of tomatoes so I usually omit them when I’m making a batch for the family.

This week I was missing many of the usual items like Potatoes and certain spices.  I decided to add rice instead as my starch.  I had a can of stewed tomatoes so I cut those up finely to make them not stand out so much and added corn.  It was worried that the corn and carrots would make the broth to sweet.  It didn’t, so SUCCESS 🙂

It was a big hit.  The broth was very light and tasty.  I omitted the bay leaf and put a little more pepper onto the meat.  I personally loved the tomatoes and the wife, well she didn’t hate them.  I felt it needed a little more salt.  I don’t like to add too much salt to my creations because not everyone likes as much seasoning as I do.  It’s a personal choice.  The Wife said the salt level was fine for her.  When I cook I take the eaters into consideration.  After all, they are eating it, lol.

I think I would make this ‘kitchen sink” version of Mama’s Hamburger Stew again 🙂

Jacques Inspired Meatloaf

So I knew we were having meatloaf for dinner last night.  It’s Sunday and I usually make a crock pot creation but I looked in the freezer and saw the ground beef and thought…meatloaf!

The ketchup on top is a throw back to my Mom who always put Ketchup on for the last 15 minutes of cooking time.  The larger veggies is all Jacques Pepin. He always seemed to make “Rustic” vegetables look so yummy.  So I used his technique and viola…rustic veggies.

I thought all was lost at one point because I was out of panko but I regrouped and crushed the 2/3 cup of saltines.  It worked fine as a binder and added a salt element internally.  Sometimes it’s just the outside that gets the most seasoning so this worked out nicely.

The Wife liked it and that is all that really matters 🙂

Be Kind today!

My Dream

In the next couple of weeks I want to try to make hollandaise sauce.  It might not seem like a big deal to people but it is to me.  I respect butter that much, 🙂

It is also my dream to make the classic Eggs Benedict.  If done correctly, they say the hollandaise is delightful.  I would love to be delighted by my attempt too, LOL.  Some people might find these goals stupid but you know what…they aren’t!

It’s my dream one day to cook like Julia Child and Jacques Pepin.  I never thought of myself as loving french food but after watching these two chefs create the most delectable morsels I too want to try my hand at it.  After I do the hollandaise and Eggs Benedict my lofty goal is to make Beef Bourguignon and I hope it tastes just like Jacques’.

I will post pictures of my creations.  It’s a nice distraction from current politics plaguing my life, LOL.

The FOS Project: Duke’s Edition

We were recently in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and the restaurant Duke’s was recommended by the Hotel Concierge.  It was a very good recommendation!

They had French Onion Soup on the menu so I had to order it!  It was very flavorful.  The Cheese was nicely melted and the broth very beefy.  There were a good deal of onions cooked just al dente.  I like mine a little softer but that is just a matter of taste.

It was a very good FOS and if you are at Duke’s in Harrisburg, PA don’t forget to order it.  It comes in a cup or bowl size!!


p.s. A special shout out to our server extraordinaire Greg!  You rocked it Johnny Bravo!

I Don’t Always Complain About Stuff

I was reading some of my recent posts and boy do I complain a lot about politics.  It annoys me so, both the complaining and the politics, lol.

What do I really like in this world.  Well beside the obvious answers of my family I’m really into cooking shows.  It started with Julia Child and moved on to Jacques Pepin.  The man is a genius with food.  When I watch him I feel like I could totally make what he’s making.  Not too many ingredients and it looks so yummy.

He started one episode with “Today we will make a Tar-Tar”.  I was like…yuck…I’m totally not into raw.  Then he pulled out a home run.  Tomato Tar-Tar and it was not only genius but so tasty looking.  I thought I would totally eat that kind of Tar-Tar.  He made me rethink what I once thought about food in general.  He also taught me I’ve been sharpening my knives incorrectly.  He does all this teaching from only 1/2 hour videos.  Amazing!

I love the idea of cooking but I’m such a fussy eater that I ruin it with my lack of palate.  When I see him cooking a Dover Sole in butter I think….that looks amazing and so tasty.  But when I actually eat fish I’m like…um, no thank you.  My deaden palate exposed.  Why? Why? Why?

It’s the same with lobster.  Glistening in butter, so delicate and luscious, and it’s all lost on me.  I did learn from Chef Pepin that 1 lbs of lobster gives you .4 oz of meat.  WOW!  Mind blown officially!

It’s a secret dream to take cooking classes one day.  That will only happen if I expand my palate.  So I need to not be so stuffy and try new foods.

Happy Cooking!


The FOSP – Benihanna Edition

So it’s not the typical French Onion Soup that I generally eat.  In fact, they just call it Onion Soup.

It was super tasty.  Very light for a first course offering.  It had a sort of umami quality to it.  I was completely taken by surprise the amount of flavor in this seemingly simple broth.

It had so much more going on in this bowl than one can see from this picture.

I liked it a lot!  It gets high praise from this French Onion Soup Fan 🙂

Weekend Adventures

We went out on Saturday to the Bristol area.  Did some antique shopping and had some lunch.  While at lunch this little dude (behind me) had a meltdown.  Of course, I took a picture of it!  LOL.

I really liked my sandwich.  I ordered it solely for the fact it was called ‘The Godfather’.  It was most delicious!  Afterward, the wife took me to get some Jersey Tomatoes.  Which were also very delicious.  It was a very happy produce store…the wish everyone to have a Nice Day on the way out!  Winning!!!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Saturday was St. Patrick’s Day and as a good American-Irish woman I went out for Mexican Food.  Nothing was boiled, lol.

I started with a Veggie Fajita Platter.  See the Green…there was my tribute to St. Paddy!  Broccoli, guacamole and spinach.  Boom!

Of course I got the Mexican Fried Ice Cream!!!  It’s was really only to complete the whole Mexican Food experience!

We were going to craft fairs in the area and there was one at the Historic Moland House.

It was a great afternoon.  The sky was blue and the sun was shining!

I even got some cashew brittle.  Was a great day to be out and about!