Archive for September, 2012



back to the warehouse club… since the local warehouse club closed for reconstruction I haven’t been frequenting the the club. But I ran low on yeast, I have been baking bread yeast less with a starter ,but it is a slow processing getting the sponge to form a light and airy sourdough loaf. More refining and experience to the process is needed.

So now we have to go all the way to Seekonk, just over the border and a short jaunt from the freeway where many retail big box stores are located similar to the local strip of retailers. It really isn’t a long journey, but in RI. it is customary to complain if you have to go any further than your local neighborhood to procure items. Maybe it’s the fact that many like to keep it local and in the family, but living in a state as small as ours it has at least a miniature version of just about all retail stores and everything else it can cram in  with in it’s borders, the higher concentrations being in the major metropolis regions.

But when it comes to going there, OMG ! if it’s more than 10 minutes away, even the commute to work, start telling a horrifying story about the route getting there and back, throw in some awesome pothole stories for good measure, narrow side mirror scraping streets, and of course you should be the only one on the road, any type of traffic warrants cursing, Sunday drivers beware! What ! you have to use your brakes, insulting!

Enough for openers, here’s the latest hit list, the good, pork chops  a bit on the thin side, $1.88 /lb, so that’s a buy , the gallon of milk, high at $2.78, bad! maybe I haven’t been shopping lately but rice is high too , I didn’t get any (not because of the recent scandal) ,memories of rice at 25 cents a pound persist ! Cheese isn’t too bad if you want decent cheese other than the processed stuff. Things like vanilla extract, the real deal , cocoa, vinegar, and flour are staple items that I have run low on and the warehouse sells large versions for stocking the pantry. I grabbed some beef short ribs, not often seen at the club close to home, expensive in my opinion, at $4.98 per lb. but I’m getting user to meat sticker shock.  Most beef bears the ANGUS sticker now a days. By the way the yeast is $2.34/lb., 2, 1lb packs, that’ll last  …….sams ….

the wife, now formerly a baker,(don’t tell her I wrote that), from one of the big box boulangeries (maybe not French but it sounds good, even though they are more like commercial bakeries) ,bought the requisite items for comparison and inspection, like cheese filled croissants and breads, baugettes and focaccia, even though I bake a lot of bread, dutifully commenting on even the way the packaging is sealed, plus if it’s warm from the oven it’s a must buy. She has honed her eagle eyes, (actually ironic in a sense) to comment even on the demo ladies in the store, now it’s second nature to her due to her experience and the fact that we all comparison shop and critique most food items.


Pan roasted chicken with salad.

Marinate a half chicken with the following:
tablespoon of oil
Tablespoon of salt
Teaspoon of chili powder
Teaspoon paprika
Teaspoon brown sugar
Teaspoon thyme
Half teaspoon pepper
One quarter teaspoon red pepper flakes
One clove garlic
Place in a plastic bag an let marinade for at least several hours.
Place in a cast iron skillet and bake (or grille) at 350 for about 20-30 minutes.

Prepare the salad
Diced fresh tomato





Toss with seasonings

Chicken , salad leftovers and dressing can be packed for your toolbox table lunch at work.



Eggplant, red pepper and mushroom pizza

A few ingredients for a spectacular pizza.
Slice up the eggplant, salt and sandwich between paper bags to draw out excess moisture.

Julienne cut red pepper and garlic to taste.

Prepare the dough as per your favorite recipe, ah, ah, ah no store bought dough !

Dice up the roasted eggplant, that’s after its rinsed and placed on a sheet pan and roasted in the oven.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the dough. a slight sprinkle of grated cheese.

Bake and serve.

For this crust, I placed some seeds in the pan, a cast iron skillet, under the dough when pressing it in the pan. A flavorful addition.



Puff Pastry ;Pate a Choux

Watching Jacque Pepin on TV , it was time to try Pate a Choux, it looks so simple and I wan’t sure if I had tried it before many years ago. So… It is simple and easy. I will have to make this again. The results are great and flavorful. The recipe is easy to look up and I won’t repeat it here.


The results, stuffed with home made raspberry jam piped inside and topped with cocoa nibs for a touch of chocolate.



Roasted Chicken with Wild Rice and vegetables

A simple preparation for a home cooked meal in one pot.
Practically self explanatory by following the pictures. When adding liquid use slightly less as you would for rice alone, the half chicken will give up some of the juices and add to the liquid.




20120925-201436.jpgcover and bake in the oven.

20120925-201458.jpgthat’s it, a complete meal.


Garden Mac & Cheese

Garden Mac and Cheese
Time to take and use some vegetables to augment your regular mac and cheese dish.
Make your usual mac and cheese roux /sauce with these exceptions,
Use half milk and half stock, for the liquid
I add 2 slices of american cheese.
Season with salt and pepper.
Mix the cheese sauce and cooked macaroni ,add the following,
fresh herbs, like oregano and a bit of sage,

course diced tomato (of course from the garden.)
Set in the oven to bake along with several slices of bread.


After about 10 minutes, remove bread, now toasted , and cut coarsely.
Chop a small amount of broccoli.
Remove the casserole from the oven, add the chopped broccoli to the top of the casserole, and then the bread cubes, drizzle with a bit of reserved cream sauce.

Return to oven.
Bake/ broil as necessary.





Cider Run

AAAHHhH… A nice Sunday, perfect weather. We enjoy fresh apple cider, so into the car we go for a short jaunt to Sunset Orchids in northern Rhode Island. Of course a variety of apples and fruit is available and the scent of home baked goods, jams, jellies etc permeate the cozy setting. We like Sunset Orchids, it’s store is reminiscent of a outdoor fruit stand even though it’s indoors. Coolers to the right house the unprocessed fresh cider and circular pole mounted shelves display apple butters, jams and maple syrup. A Sunday drive makes the trip enjoyable as my lead foot daughter deftly commands the old Toyota through the winding back roads to and from the freeway. Mission accomplished ,cider and goodies in hand. The sweet tooth nabs a coffee bun and a loaf of home baked bread. The bread doesn’t survive the ride home without tore off pieces sampled by the passengers and an apple consumed. I never saw the coffee bun ! An apple connoisseur’s delight Sunset has many varieties available even this early in the season. We plan on returning on a cool crisp fall day for apple picking.

On the way back fresh corn is ordered from any roadside farm stand. We quickly pull to stop at Confreda’s Farm located on the route back home. Not exactly your roadside stand, but a bustling farmers market grocery store and garden centre. Parking lot attendants hand out flyers outlining the many activities and coupons as you enter the lot. We pass up the huge garden centre and enter the farmers market, a modern style grocery store that offers fresh corn, 3 varieties prominently displayed, butter and sugar , silver white, and a extra sweet variety. I opt for the butter and sugar. It’s sold by the ear and by dozen pricing. The farmers market also houses a bakery and deli. The women quickly size up the sweet offerings presented behind glass display cases. For me it’s home grown veggies and a couple of garlic bulbs as I’m besieged with recipes ideas from the intoxicating variety before me. We return and we toast with a glass of cider.

The booty, from Sunset : 10 ounces strawberry rhubarb fruit spread, 1/4 peck macs, gallon cider,1/4 peck plums, (bread not shown). Confreda’s eggplant, garlic , peppers, corn, cucumbers, red potatoes, leeks.

Sunset Orchids



A few random pics.

















September 2012
« Aug   Oct »

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