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

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Beach Weekend

One stunning sight at the beach
     We spent the weekend at the coast, and it was awesome.  Yesterday was bright and sunny, we got to walk all the way up the beach to the next town up.  And today, was a real day at the Oregon Coast.  The rain was pouring down, and you were so soaked after a short walk with the dogs that you had to put on all new clothes.  While
 walking, soaking wet, on the beach, I was thinking about what I should make for dinner tonight.  I remembered one warm, winter meal in particular, and decided we were having chicken potpie for dinner tonight.  We would have to get a pre-cooked chicken, then we'd be good to go.  So on the ride home, I got to study for this week, finals week.
     Once we got started on the chicken, we really got started.  Dad took the vegetable and chicken filling, and I covered the biscuit crust.  I think the filling had carrots, onions, celery, red potatoes, and chicken.  On top is a layer of biscuits.  The biscuits were filled with butter and Crisco, and cheese.  We've got a salad course that's leftover form last night at the coast, with some additional snap peas.

     The food was excellent.  The potpie was a little disappointing because it didn't have any peas, but the biscuits more than made up for that.  It was creamy, and crunchy, and savory and good.  And, we had a few extra biscuits.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Potatoes, Salmon, Winter

     Yesterday, we went to the Mythbusters: Behind The Myths tour; it was sunny and bright outside, not a cloud in the sky.  When the show started, Adam Savage said, "I don't believe that it rains here all the time.  I've been to Portland six times now, and not once has it rained."  But now, we are back to normal, it's been drizzling all day.  To help correct for the cold, dreary weather, Cy's decided to make some classic comfort food, loaded-baked potatoes.  The potatoes themselves are currently doing their first bake in the oven next to some brownies Dad has made for dessert, while bacon is cooking on the stovetop.  Throughout the house, you can smell the brownies and the bacon.  Mmmm.
     The bacon, brownies and potatoes are now done.  Dad is picking kale from the winter garden, and Cy is separating egg whites for some salmon cakes.  Once the potatoes have been filled and are in the oven, The salmon cakes will get into full swing, with some King salmon that our cousin Drew caught in Alaska last summer. The Salmon Cakes are just egg whites, soy sauce, green onions and finely minced ginger. They are pressed into cakes and then baked on a cookie sheet
     The loaded potatoes are out of the oven. The tops were dressed up with some cheddar and bacon which made a nice appetizer. The salmon cakes are going in.  Cy's working on a salad, and I've been called up to make tartar sauce.  Dinner should be ready relatively soon, and it should be great.

     It was great.  The baked potatoes were amazing, they had a cheddar topping that had melted, then hardened into a crust on top and were filled with bacon.  The salmon cakes were excellent as well, they had just a touch of ginger in them, and they were nice and crunchy.  My tartar sauce caught a little flak, as usual, for using sweet pickles instead of dill.  The salad was good, though I wasn't a big fan of the dressing, which was made with some sort of super-thick Hungarian buttermilk.  Once we digest, Dad will be serving up his brownies.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pizza Bread

     Snow was in the forecast for this weekend, and yesterday everyone was disappointed.  Today, I went to get my hair cut.  With my hair remarkably shorter, I left amid a flurry of thick snow flakes.  None of the snow was sticking, but after a few minutes it started to stick to the grass, then parked cars, and finally, when I was halfway home, pavement.  I kept walking home amid the beautiful snowflakes, and once I was a block from home the sun came out.  By the time I walked in the door, the snow was already starting to melt.  Now there's only a few piles of snow left in shadows, and since Mom and Dad put together an demanding meal last night, I've opted for something easy.  I remembered once, when, Dad was out of town, and Cy made toasted, melted baguette sandwiches.
     Dad went out earlier to get baguettes, but we had only three slices of salami, and Cy wanted to see Terminator 2 tonight so he went back out.  While he was out, I sliced the bread and grated the cheese, really the hardest parts of making these open faced cheese sandwiches.  Everyone filled their orders, and now it's just a matter of time.  They should be ready in a few minutes.
     The pizza bread was really, good, even when there was a small accident involving lots of cheese melting onto the oven's window.  After dinner Dad and I went to a reading at Powell's, it's good thing these were fairly easy.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Pirogi And Frozen Stoplight

     The first weekend after break is always hard.  Instead of days on end, Cy and I have only a pair before we have to go back to school.  Today we knuckled down and managed to write all our Christmas thank you cards, even when we wanted to go somewhere for brunch.  After lunch, Dad and I went out to David Douglas High School's pool, were I had a personal coaching session.  On the way home Dad stopped by Food4Less (unsung hero of Sundays strange ingredients) in search of goat to make Birria.  When we got back, Mom and Cy were watching Terminator on our new TV.  The weather was great, it looked a lot like spring, ten bucks says Cy wants to grill in two weeks.  For now though, Cy's staying inside, making Pirogi.
     Cy started cooking earlier, while I was at my coaching session.  When Dad and I got home Cy had made the potato/cheese filling, and the dough was resting underneath a bowl.  When Sarah Connor had driven away from the Mexican gas station in her Jeep, Cy came up, chopped some onions, and threw them onto the stove to start caramelizing.

Not-frozen Stoplight
     Mom and Dad went on a shopping trip to get the last few ingredients we needed together, and while they were out Cy and I worked on the pirogi.  We rolled out the dough, and stuffed them with potato filling.  When Dad got back, he started to boil them.  For pirogi, this meal has been surprisingly easy, probably because Cy got such an early start.  While that's good, I don't think the potato filling was well served by sitting around.  Cy's started working on his mysterious side dish, something with red, yellow and green bell peppers.   For now, all he's doing with that is slicing them up.  We will see what happens there.  Across the kitchen Dad is working on the Otto's kielbasa, adding a little beer to help steam them.  He's also warming up sauerkraut in that pan.  Turns out Cy's mysterious dish is actually something very simple, it a fresh version of what we called "frozen stoplight" when I was a 3 or 4 years old. It was frozen red, yellow and green bell peppers on a plate, and I loved it.  I don't think we've had frozen stoplight since we moved back to Oregon when Cy was just a tiny baby.

     That was good.  And I mean really good!  The sauerkraut and sausage were excellent, and you could just taste the beer.  The pirogi were some of the best we've had, though we're still figuring out the caramelized onions.  We were first introduced to pirogi at the Ukrainian Church in our neighborhood. They sell pirogi and sausages every Saturday as a fund raiser. There is also a new food cart in our neighborhood called "okie-rogi."  It's pretty good, and they've got some interesting fillings - jalapeƱo, loaded baked potato, "meat" and vegetarian options, too.  Tonight we had some really great pirogi, thanks Cy.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Here's To 2012 Whatever It May Bring

     Every New Year's, we make country ham and biscuits and cheese grits and have most of the neighborhood come over to help us eat them.  Since we've been eating all day, we rarely eat dinner on the first day of every year.  Instead we'll have a little snack while watching on of the football games somebody turned on.  Sufficed to say, there isn't going to be any Sunday Dinner tonight, not after our biggest meal of the year.  Happy New Year, may it be a good one.