Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Corn and Summer Vegetable Soup and the First Snow

I know most of you are still very warm.  We, on the other hand, are having a major snowfall.  Awesome!
As a matter of fact, while I was in Montana last week, it would get in the high 80s and even hit 90°, but Fairbanks was getting 6 inches of snow!
These two pictures are from my window last spring...

You can see the mountains in the back.

This is the view out my window today.

It is just awesome!

So, I understand you may not be eating a lot of soup right now but we have soup every Monday with a sandwich and watch football on t.v.  (Thank you Green Bay for that awesome win against Kansas City, I just won a bet with my brother!)

This soup is quick and a good use for your summer veggies.  Maybe you will have some cool evening with a little rain.  I doubt you'll get the amount of snow we are getting right now.

Corn and Summer Vegetable Soup

4 cups of corn, fresh or frozen work best
4 cups chicken stock
1 large onion, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
salt and pepper to taste
4 pieces of bacon

*You can add other veggies to beef it up, or add cooked shredded chicken and top with bacon and cheese.

Measure two cups of corn and two cups of chicken stock, place in a blender and process until very smooth, set aside. Using your soup pot, cook bacon until crisp.  Remove from pan and place on paper towel to drain.  Chop into small pieces.
 Remove all but about 2 tbsp. of bacon fat from pan, add onion and zucchini and sauté until soft.  Add corn puree, tomatoes, chicken stock, and salt and pepper to taste.  Heat but do not bring to a boil.
Serves 6

1 year ago:    Pizza Stromboli for the Blond Boy's Visit
2 years ago:   Rhubarb Meringue Bars and the Guard Goose
3 years ago:   Pecan Crispies and Saying Goodbye to the Back Yard Neighbors

September 30, 2015  Sunrise 7:57 am  Sunset 7:53 pm  Temp. H 34/ L 25°F

Monday, September 28, 2015

Work Travel and the Perfect Dirty Martini

Cocktail hour on mom's front deck.  5:10 and 80 degrees!

I was in Montana for a week of work. I have the best job.  I go to a different college or university every day, do my presentation about teaching and living in Alaska, this amazing state of mine, and I get to stay with my mom.  She rides with me and we visit on the way to each school, I give my presentation and we head home.  We have favorite places we stop to eat (and wow, can we eat!) but in the evening we are home and have cocktail hour.

When I am home I have the drink of the week, that means ONE adult beverage a week, usually on a Friday or Saturday evening.  But at mom's we have cocktail hour every night (o.k. it was only 4 of the 7 nights I was there) and we would have a Dirty Martini.  My mom's husband Dick makes the best dirty martini around.  I have tried to copy it before, but this trip he told me the secret, and I will share that secret with you (if you already knew it, don't burst my bubble, I'm riding pretty high here right now).

Olives in vermouth...yes you heard it, you buy them in the grocery store, right on the shelf with all the other olives.  Why hadn't I noticed them before?  Crap, they have probably been next to the regular graham crackers when all I could find were the honey kind!

So I sent a picture of the elusive olives to my husband and posted on Facebook that he needed to learn how to make these perfect martinis...I came home to this:

I sure got lucky with this guy.

The Perfect Dirty Martini
Dick's way
2 oz. cold vodka
3 ice cubes
3 olives on a swizzle stick, use the kind brined in vermouth like the picture above
2-3 tablespoons of olive juice, depending on taste (I like 3)
Enjoy.  Makes 1 drink

1 year ago:    Colonial Bread
2 years ago:  Stuffed Pork Loin and the "Good Try"
3 years ago:  Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

September 28, 2015  Sunrise 7:51 am  Sunset 7:30 pm  Temp.  H 45/ L 32°F

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hip Shot

So the hip isn't getting any better,(yes, I had to go back to see the Dr. in his big screen room) and the next step is an injection into the hip joint.  It is supposed to help with the pain.  It is done under an Xray and takes about 20 minutes. I did ask for a valium.

I got my shot yesterday... another lovely experience.  First off, it was a man who gave me the shot.  You take all your clothes off and put on a robe.  Then you lie flat on your back under the Xray machine and he walks in and has you pull up the robe to your belly, so your fat, flat thighs are at their finest and your hoo-ha is there for everyone to see!  Then they turn the Xray machine on and use a paperclip to figure out where to insert the 8 inch needle they need to get through the layers of fat and into the hip joint. This takes about 45 minutes while you are freezing and half naked on the cold Xray table.

If that isn't bad enough, I had to ask..."What is that white circle on the Xray?"  Turns out it was a BIG bubble of air (also known as a fart in waiting), right at "the exit point" according to the Dr.  His exact words were, "That is a bubble of air sitting on the anus."  Awesome!  So I worried the whole procedure about farting in his face because he was so close to my nekked business!

He injected some numbing stuff (kind of like the stuff to numb you for dental work) and then pushed the giant needle down further and injected a little more.  Finally got into the joint and said, "You may feel a little pressure and burning."

A LITTLE?  I let him know (by yelling, I think) that it hurt.  He stopped, gave me a couple of moments to stop the hysterical crying, and injected more serum into the joint.  I again let him know in no uncertain terms it was very uncomfortable and I WAS DONE.  "Only 10 more seconds," he lied.  Two more pushes on the syringe with a hoot and a holler from me after each and we were finally finished.

The nurse covered up all my parts and handed me a tissue, then the Dr. asked how I was doing and says...

"Do I know you from somewhere?  You look so familiar to me." just spent 15 intimate minutes with my hoo-ha and NOW you ask if I know you from somewhere?  I could have died.

We went through the typical where I work, if he has kids, blah, blah, blah but didn't find a connection.  He left, I got the betadine stuff cleaned off me and helped me up so I could go get dressed.

I hobbled to the car with my husband and proceeded to fart all the way home...

Feel very sorry for my husband.

Peach Comfort

1 cup frozen peaches
2 oz. Southern Comfort or Crown Royal
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. or to taste honey or agave

If using honey, mix with about a tablespoon hot water, then stir into whisky.  Add all ingredients to blender and process until smooth.  Pour into glass and enjoy.

Makes one drink and does not cause any extra bubbles of air to sit on your anus.

1 year ago:    Oreo Truffles and watching what you say in public.
2 years ago:  Raspberry Lemon Drop and Dave at Moose Camp
3 years ago:  Bean Soup and the First Real Frost

September 10, 2015   Sunrise 7:19 am  Sunset 8:10 pm  Temp. H 50/ L 37°F

Monday, September 14, 2015

Shotgun Wedding Soup and waiting on the Mouse

One of our trips in Bessie, we had a little mouse scampering back and forth across this little path next to us.  I named him Marvin and while Dave fixed dinner, I sat and tried to get his picture.  It was raining and dreary, so the shutter speed was a little too slow for this quick guy.  
Most of my pictures looked like this:
But I was persistent.  Finally, after about 45 minutes, Dave tried baiting him with a rose hip.  Hoping he would stop long enough to sniff  or eat it and I could catch a picture.  Marvin didn't even stop at one of them.  I did manage to catch part of Marvin...see his tail end in the left hand side?

Oh, the things I do for entertainment.  

Now that it is fall, cooler during the days and freezing some nights, we have soup and sandwich night on Monday.  We watch Monday night football during dinner, the only night we have the t.v. on during dinner. Thursday night football just has to wait until after dinner...that is what a DVR is for.   I made this quick soup I adapted from Ellie Krieger's cookbook Weeknight Wonders.  Use a good chicken stock, I used some homemade from my freezer.  It was perfect with our grilled ham and cheese sandwiches and a side salad.

Shotgun Wedding Soup
adapted from Ellie Krieger

1/2 med. onion
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. moose sausage (her recipe calls for 1/2 lb. ground chicken)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
8 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp. fresh Italian parsley
1/2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
2 large eggs
3 cups lightly packed baby spinach

Dice the onion and mince the garlic.  heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and sausage and cook, breaking up the meat as you stir, until is is no longer pink.  Stir in the garlic, salt, and pepper and cook for 1 minute more.

Add the broth, cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Meanwhile, finely chop the parsley. Place the parsley, cheese and eggs in a medium bowl.  Whisk to combine.  Chop the spinach coarsely and set aside.

Once the soup is boiling, uncover and reduce the heat to medium-low.  Stir the broth in a circular motion, then slowly drizzle in the egg mixture, stirring all the time, to form thin strands.  Stir in the spinach and cook until the spinach is just wilted, about 30 seconds.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serves 4

1 year ago:    Zucchini Fries
2 years ago:  Canning Tomatoes
3 years ago:  New Lights

Sept. 14     Sunrise 7:10 am  Sunset 8:21 pm   Temp H52/ L 39°F

Monday, September 7, 2015

MRI and Moon Pie Mug Cake

I had an MRI for a little hip issue I've been having.  The follow up appointment was something special.  There I sat with my husband and the Dr. and he pulls up the MRI on the BIG screen t.v. in the office.

And there, for all of us to enjoy, is my fat ass.

Now this MRI was for my hip, and so I was laying down on a table squishing my abundant bottom flat to begin with, then you put it up on a big screen t.v. and it was HUGE!  And, it was an MRI so the first 15 layers was just fat, with the little blood vessels running through it so it looked like I had a GIANT HAIRY ASS.  I was so proud.

We finally got to the hip and you could see the little tiny flank steak of a muscle surrounded by 15 inches of fat on my thighs!  And then the Dr. says..."Let's take a look at those little hips."  I wonder how he said that without laughing out loud!

I still don't know the results of the MRI because I was so focused on the damn fat part of the GIANT T.V. picture.

Well, I made it through that appointment and swore I would never see that Dr. again in my whole entire life, or until my hip hurt again, which ever comes first.  But, I did have to console myself after such a humiliating experience.  So I went home and made myself a  Moon Pie mug cake.

Did you ever eat moon pies?  I loved those things as a kid.  The marshmallow center surrounded by the sweet chocolate and crunch of a graham cracker....pure heaven.  I needed to be taken back to a simpler, less embarrassing time, so I made Moon Pie mug cakes, hid under the blanket I draped over the sofa and coffee table and ate both of them.  I tried not to think about how big my butt looks.

Moon Pie mug cake
adapted from Mug Cakes, Leslie Bilderback

1 large egg
3 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3 1/2 Tbsp. milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup self-rising flour
pinch of kosher salt
2 graham crackers, broken into small pieces
1/4 cup mini marshmallow, marshmallow fluff, or large marshmallows cut up into small pieces
2 Tbsp. chocolate chips

In a large mug, whisk together the egg and oil with a fork.  Stir in the milk, sugar, vanilla and cocoa.  Add the flour and salt.  Beat the batter until smooth.  Fold in the graham cracker bits, marshmallows and chocolate chips.  Divide the batter between two mugs.  Microwave separately for 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 minutes each until risen and firm.

1 year ago:   Baked Oatmeal
2 years ago:  End of the Garden
3 years ago:  Control Issues and Banana Crunch Muffins

  Sunrise 6:49 am  Sunset  8:47 pm  Temp H 62/ L 41°F