"Those who forget the pasta are condemned to reheat it." ~Unknown

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Cy's going for a really gourmet, ambitious meal tonight. It's going to take a long time so we won't be able to start eating until after we trick-or-treat. The best part about this once a year meal is that everybody gets a personalized version.
I get a Mr. Good Bar, Dad is going for a king size Take 5, Mom's dinner will be a single massive Peanut M&M and Cy, Cy gets a great big pack of Smarties.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Mind of Garfield the Cat, Explained!

It seems like it's been a long time, from that first spaghetti and meatballs dinner, to the lasagna that made the first blog post, and everything in between; in some ways it has been a long time. The weather has always been wonderful for our dinners and so with our first truly winter-like Sunday it seemed time to take a page out of Cy's book, "winter = tamales and italian". Comfort food. With the wind blowing and rain thundering down, even a bit of hail, it was time to get started. The same lasagna recipe and the same people, 8 months later.

The meat is almost done browning and the garlic smell has pervaded the kitchen, imagine what the three dogs in the house must be smelling! Wouldn't it be cool to have a dog's sense of smell, or hawks eyes, rabbits ears, the strength of an ox, it kinda' makes you wonder how these pink-skinned hairless creatures ever got to the top of the evolutionary food chain.

The sauce is done and the ricotta-egg mixture is mixed, the baking pan is greased and the oven is heating up. The Tulip Poplar outside is getting blown all over the place but in here it's warm, safe and smells really good.
The lasagna is layered; sauce, noodles, ricotta, Parmesan, sauce, noodles, ricotta, Parmesan, sauce, noodles, ricotta, Parmesan, sauce and mozzarella. It takes forever to layer one on top of the other, especially in our oval baking dish. Dad's slicing us an apple appetizer while the lasagna sits in the oven, the timer ticking down until time to eat.

Yum. It was a really good lasagna it was, meaty and cheesy and didn't flop and fall apart all
over our plates. The uppermost layer of cheese was really strong on top, crunchy and
wonderful, while underneath the cheese just pulled apart all gooey just like the cheese did on
last Sunday's pizza toasts. I was reminded why Garfield the Cat loves his lasagna so much.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Meat Cheese Bread

This week just flew by. It seems like just yesterday that we had come home from the beach so I could make clam chowder. On Wednesday Dad left to go to Orlando for an industry conference robbing us of our soús chef and blog editor so Mom asked Cy to cook something a little simpler than usual. Thinking on the simple tack, Cy decided to make closed-face pizza sandwiches. putting us where we are now, him grating cheese and me sitting here by the computer dead tired from my cross-country race earlier today.
We bought really good Vietnamese baguettes and Cy shredded mozzarella and Monterrey jack then sliced open the loaves and set the oven to warming up. Now Cy is spooning pizza sauce onto the lightly toasted baguettes while Mom is sprinkling on cheese. Looks like this last bit is going to go really fast as the cheese melts on to the bread. Not only does this look like it's going to be really good it also took only about half an hour all told.

This was a really good meal for a week like this when it needed to be a quick and simple meal. this was really good and something somebody could make during the week. Cy's working on a strawberry-banana smoothie for dessert. As we were eating the sandwiches, the different layers of the sandwiches reminded us of one of our favorite sandwich restaurants, Meat Cheese, Bread.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I Wish We Had More Clams

We spent the weekend at the beach. We rented a beach house with Cy's friend's family. We dug a tunnel system that our dogs were intrigued by and explored the dunes. It was a pretty awesome way to spend a long weekend. Now we're back home and it is time to cook.
I figured that after a weekend at the coast it was a good time to try clam chowder. Dad was baffled when he learned it was going to be a cream-less clam chowder. Right now the vegetables are sizzling on the stove and the recently shucked clams are sitting on the cutting board waiting to be chopped.

This chowder has us purée-ing some of the clam chowder and then adding it back into the soup, making for a really wonderfully thick soup. We just have to add some clam juice and then we're ready to eat!

That was a very good clam chowder. Every spoonful a murky mystery, filled with onions, garlic and celery. Though it could have used more clams it was a good soup. Especially considering all the ingredients had to sit on our fridge over the weekend and we had to squeeze all the prep into about an hour it was a good soup.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Like a Last Taste of Summer

The weather here in Portland is changing; our cool, rainy summer has given way to Fall. Today has been true Fall weather, so Cy chose to have one final summer meal, burgers on the grill. He's also dug up a "recipe" for potato wedges. We had BLTs for lunch, (all of a sudden we have about 10# of ripe tomatoes from the garden.) So Cy decided to make use of the leftover bacon grease to make crispy potato wedges.
As the coals warm up Cy shapes burgers and Dad puts the grease covered potato wedges in the oven. I have a feeling that the cooking will end before it's begun. Already the burgers are off to the grill.
Last Sunday Dad said how the sushi that we were making intimidated him. And it scared me too. Back in February, March, and April, we were scared of almost every meal. Each success felt like climbing Everest. But over the summer the meals became less scary. We had become more confident chefs. So I was thinking that some of you probably have a few good, scary, unusual or challenging ideas to offer. Why don't you give us ideas for what to cook. Maybe a dish that scares you, or an interesting local meal. You look at this blog from places as diverse as Moscow, Saigon, Kuwait, London and Omaha, Nebraska. What should we try next? What do you think would make our parents freak out?

Tomatoes are sliced, pickles are slicing themselves (this the coolest gladiatorial combat ever), Potatoes are in the oven, and the burgers have been flipped. I, am ready to eat.

Those were good burgers. But the real star was the potato wedges. These were salty, crispy on the outside and soft, almost mashed-potato like, on the inside. Cy has made us some sort of fruit juice berry puree mix for dessert, they were quite good. Like the rest of the meal they were like a last taste of summer.