Tastes Better When Someone Else Prepares and Serves

Classic winter lunch made and served by my daughter Laura. Hit the spot on a gray chilly day.

img_3117Cheddar and Monterey Jack on wheat was the grilled cheese. She used the stovetop cast iron grill I gave her for Christmas. (Which covers two burners)

When Your Neighbor Brings You Pancetta

When your neighbor brings you pounds of pancetta, what else can you do? (Thank you Joaquin.)

Find a recipe, quickly.

I read some eat pancetta raw but that turned me.

Next time I’ll slice it more thinly. First, I warmed the dish in the oven, cooked the cut up pancetta for about 8 minutes in my cast iron skillet and then drained it on paper towels. Tossed  the eggs, cheese, minced garlic cloves mixture  onto the hot drained spaghetti  in the warmed casserole   Freshly ground pepper. Rich and good. Next time I’ll hold off on salting the pasta water as the pancetta and cheese made it salty enough.  The recipe called for 1/2 cup white wine which I didn’t have on hand so poured a glass of red to accompany this perfect dish for a snowy day.

Spaghetti Carbonara  

There’s plenty of pancetta left for several meals if you have any suggestions.

Hopkins County Stew

My neighbor up the street made a vat of Hopkins County Chicken Stew.(recipe)

She served it at their New Year’s Eve Party Saturday night.

I sent a text to thank her for the nice time and she texted back and invited me to come up around 4, bring an empty container, fill up! I took up a quart jar but she had a couple of gallons.

Yum.

When I got there, I was in awe of the huge pot she made it in. She was in the midst of major clean up from the party.  Steve and I  ate the warm penne and sweet sausage she sent home along with some stew.  Thanks for sharing your leftovers.

I’d never even heard of Hopkins County Stew from Texas.

Turns out there’s a big festival in Sulphur Springs Texas  (the fourth Saturday of October) and here is an excerpt from their webpage

“The cooking competition began in 1969, but the roots of the dish date from the late 1800s, The county had approximately 100 schools back then and it became customary to celebrate the end of each school year with stew suppers that were cooked in iron pots over open hardwood fires. 

There were no recipes.  Families just brought what they had and threw it in the pot.  The meat most likely was squirrel, and typically the most dominant vegetables were potatoes, onions, corn and tomatoes.

There is still no authentic recipe for Hopkins County Stew.  For the annual cook-off, contestants may use chicken or beef (no squirrel) and there are separate prizes for the best stew with each meat.”

Here is another link to a recipe   I will have to ask Susanne which one she used.  The ones listed above (potatoes, onions, corn and tomatoes) are still the dominant ingredients.

 

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Slow Cooker’s Opposite? Instant Pot

My DIL introduced me to her Instant Pot last night. Says they’re really the latest trend.

I’d never heard of it.

An extreme pressure cooker which lets off lots of steam when finished.

She threw 3 ingredients in the pot and six minutes later it was complete. Even the dried penne and FROZEN meatballs.

They returned from swim practice and I’ve been here when the family is eating really late cause they get home and have to make dinner. Not last night.  We were dining at 7:30 which was like a magic trick!

There’s a porridge setting and you can make yogurt or a cheesecake

or homemade ricotta. Thousands of people have joined an Instant pot group

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Check out Elizabeth’s  blog for more recipes and information Pressure Cooker Pros

and her homepage

Exploring Homestead

Saturday afternoon in Homestead PA. Just across the Monongahela River.You take the Homestead Grays Bridge.

Annex Cookery has moved across the street into a wonderfully restored building and is now Art Space as well, featuring lots of interesting furniture, sculptures and art. Check out those fun and creative clocks! Delicious coffee will be served in a couple of weeks, once the rest of the chairs are delivered.

Trib Article David Lewis

Meet the Mayor of Homestead Betty Esper

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Just down the block is Studio AM  (available for private events-catering

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Retro on 8th sent out the invitations. They have everything from furniture music, books, toys, jewelry, clothing and even a huge mid-century orange ashtray.

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Meet RetroOn8th Co-Owner Hayley

 

 

In the same building as Annex Cookery and Art Space– I got the tour (thanks Daniel)

if you need well lit office space….just $1500 a month-   if you’re interested leave a comment below.

and upstairs is a spacious 2stories of fabulous loft apartment to rent……

You can live and work in the same building.

 

Spaghetti Arugula

Thanks to my neighbor for giving me the arugula.

Spaghetti Arugula.

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Steve brought home the olives and fresh pasta. A recipe from the excellent chef Anna Flevola formerly of La Cucina Flegrea. Garlic, olive oil, a bit of red onion, pine nuts, walnuts, raisins, red pepper flakes and a ladle of pasta water -topped with the rocket/arugula and freshly grated Parmesan.

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Ready to serve

This should be photo four but having WP posting issue w photos tonight

Notice -“Booming Stats” on Abandoned Blog Today

Five years ago I tried to create a recipe blog from my grandmother’s wooden recipe box and my mother’s recipe cards. I’d forgotten all about it until today when I got a notice from WordPress. Try this link to the blog   A friend wrote she had trouble

getting to itScreen Shot 2016-07-27 at 11.13.43 PM.png

Throwback Recipes Blog

I didn’t stick with this blog for very long.

There were SIX followers. Throwback seemed as if the recipes weren’t really relevant nowadays.

It stopped seeming like such a cool idea.

But today I got a notice “Your stats are BOOMING!”  On the Throwback Recipes blog.  Rhubarb Cake recipe and the home page

And 65 hits (that’s booming after zero) are from El Salvador, 2 are from United States and 1 from Australia. And in just ONE hour.

So thought I would share about my abandoned blog that got rediscovered today.

Did you ever start a blog and abandon it?

It’s always nice to receive those notices from WordPress.

Here is the Chocolate Pound Cake recipe my mother made

 

 

 

 

Another milestone-2500th post today 

Lots of double zeroes and double letter o on this 2500th blog post. Thanks for looking. 

Potholder loops -in the details

On the loom and off 

Laura’s wreath prompted inquiry- what exactly are potholder loops?

 Take a hot pot lid off without burning your hand. Good deal! Keep cool.


Stretch the cotton loop snd attach to the teeth of the metal loom.Create a pattern or random colored loops.

(you can get wool or nylon loops, too, the nylon material not so effective on hot pots! 


Today Laura made this potholder by carefully planning the order of the loops 

Reminiscent of watermelon by Laurs Use pencils or knitting needles to catch all the loops, remove from the loom and bind off 

Here was Laura’s wreath in case you missed it 

Zucchini, Garlic, Olive Oil

All come together in this recipe-

I love zucchini but this recipe is my favorite. It’s  from my next door neighbor in Clarion PA. (C.1980)

Nell Miller called them Poor Man Meatballs. 

The key to success is getting as much moisture out as you can -which is a challenge. And I like using the cast iron skillet. 

You grate or process about three (not the large seedy kind) zucchini

Tilt the bowl for a time to capture the wet. Drain off. Squeeze as dry as you can.

Add egg, dried Italian bread crumbs or plain with your own seasoning, salt and pepper. Toss with fork -add minced garlic. Mmmmmm can smell them now.  Shape like potato pancakes not too big. My gluten-free friend used crushed Rice Chex instead of bread crumbs.  Drain on paper towel.

You can eat them plain (my choice) or add to marinara sauce over pasta.