21 January 2015

The Interval

So... We're home for a short interval, then on to Napa. I get the chance to re-center, focus, and to prepare and eat some homemade meals. CA is always appreciative when I deign to cook.

Tuesday night, I managed this...

Easy Cream of Broccoli Soup and Gluten-Free Peach Crepes.

The basis for my gluten-free crepes.

Filled with peach jam.

The crepes are a bit fragile. No gluten does that.
The Easy Cream of Mushroom Soup was a concoction I put together when we were at the beach many years ago. Just a few ingredients, and yet tasty and filling. This time, I actually did the mirepoix, but in the past I've just sautéed onions. The proportions are as follows:

Easy Cream of Broccoli Soup
1 cup Carrots, sliced or diced
1 cup Celery, thinly sliced
1 cup Sweet onion, diced
3 T. Butter
1 bag Broccoli, frozen
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1-1/4 cup Half-n-half, or milk (as preferred)
Salt and pepper, as desired.
  1. Sauté vegetables until somewhat soft.
  2. Stir in Cream of Mushroom soup.
  3. Add soup and milk.
  4. Heat through.
  5. Season to-taste.
  6. Blend together until mixture is still somewhat lumpy.

Gluten-Free Peach Crepes
1 egg
1 cup Milk
3 T. Butter, melted
3/4 cup King Arthur Gluten-Free Pancake Mix
Peach jam
  1. Mix liquid ingredients together.
  2. Stir in pancake mix, stir just until dry ingredients are mixed in,
  3. Measure 1/3 to 1/2 cup of batter onto oiled and heated crepe pan.
  4. When top of crepe is almost dry, spoon on 1-2 T of peach jam.
  5. Gently filed crepe in half and then quarters.
  6. Makes approximately 4 crepes.

I got a late start this morning and CA had gone about his errands and appointments, but I made this for myself...

Eggs-in-baskets. Gluten-free, Udi's bread.

Then for dinner tonight...

My Americanized version of chicken curry.

Mise en place.

I chopped the chicken while the sweet potatoes roasted in the
oven at 400º. And, this time I sautéed the apples separately.

After the chicken was almost cooked through, I added the onions.

Chicken, onions, apple chunks, white raisins, and curry paste.
About 1/3 of the jar, or to-taste.

Our curry paste, of choice.

First time I've tried this. Worked fine.

The fresh Cilantro really kicked it up.

Our chutney, of choice. Quality and price.

We've experimented with adding sweet potatoes to the sauté raw and boiled slightly. The results were under-cooked and over-cooked. This time, I oven-roasted the sweet potato chunks in a bit of olive oil. I then placed the Jasmine rice and roasted sweet potatoes side-by-side into the bowl and ladled the  curry over.

Chicken Curry
2 sm Sweet Potatoes, diced
Olive oil
1/2 med Onion, diced
1 med Apple, diced
1 cup Raisins, white
1 cup Peas, frozen
1 whole Chicken breast, boneless; diced
Olive oil
Salt and pepper (for chicken as it sautés)
1/4-1/3 cup Curry paste
1 can Coconut milk
Cilantro, chopped

  1. Oven-roast sweet potatoes at 400º until soft and slightly browned.
  2. Sauté apple chunks separately in olive oil, if desired.
  3. Sauté chicken breast chunks until almost cooked through; add onions and continue sautéing until onions are translucent.
  4. Add apple chunks to chicken-onion mixture; stir in curry paste.
  5. Stir in raisins and peas. Heat through.
  6. Pour in coconut milk and heat thoroughly.
  7. Serve over both rice and sweet potatoes.
  8. Sprinkle on Cilantro, if desired.

19 January 2015

Our Last Day in Colorado

Brunch-Lunch at The Silver Grill.
A tradition each time we visit Fort Collins.

Proof: the orange juice is freshly squeezed.

18 January 2015

Denver and Boulder

Denver Sheraton

The happy couple.

Fire pit at Highland Tap and Burger.

The Truffle Fries are divine.

After a fun evening at Highland Tap and Burger celebrating the upcoming marriage of our niece and a night at the Denver Sheraton, we had a laid-back Sunday morning at the hotel and then drove to Boulder for lunch on The Hill. 

The Sink, an historic quirky restaurant on The Hill.

The walls are absolutely covered in art--drawn directly onto the walls.

The weather this weekend has been absolutely gorgeous--sunshine and upper 50s. We couldn't ask for better. 

17 January 2015

A Winter's Respite

In Colorado. Yep! The thing is--unlike our midwestern relentless winters, the Front Range of Colorado likes to mix it up, weatherwise. We've been enjoying mild temperatures (50s) and loads of sun during this visit, while last week (prior to our arrival) the locals were shoveling snow and bundling up. 

DM says the key is, to choose south-facing housing. Otherwise, the snow melts during the day, but freezes over again at night resulting in icy conditions. Repeats daily. 
I've been out-and-about in a long-sleeved t-shirt layered with a light zip-up athletic-style jacket. I'm chicken enough to have my puffy coat in the car at-the-ready, but there it's stayed. 
This is a busy house, every day. Today the Fun Kids are skiing Eldora, but each day is full with school, music lessons, tutoring, birthday parties, playdates, errands, and school runs. The schedule is complex, and often consulted. 

CA and I float freely, chiming in where appropriate, and generally go with the flow. We fit in breakfasts and lunches in cute cafes and favorite restaurants, manage a school run or two, and sometimes do a drop-off or pick-up. I usually cook and bake a bit, but not so far this trip. Then, there are endless games of Tic-Tac-Toe, Solitaire, and Sudoku. My iPad is home for many, many games and entertainments. 

We always miss our Cincinnati Fun Kids when we're here and they're not. There's ongoing conversations on how we can all be together more often. 

Tonight is a special one: our niece's engagement party in Denver. We'll meet her groom for the very first time, and many of their friends. We're looking forward to the party and an entire evening with CA's sister and all. CA booked a hotel room downtown Denver for tonight, so we can stay out late (Ha!) and enjoy brunch tomorrow. 

15 January 2015

The Magic Pan Crêperie

Began at Ghiradelli Square in San Francisco by
Hungarian immigrants Lazlo and Paulette Fono.

Nostalgia for food is a pretty strong driving force in my life. Whenever anyone talks about crêpes, I reminisce over The Magic Pan. This happened a few weeks ago. I first tried the easy route of Googling for recipes, but came up almost empty-handed. There is some mention of the fact that the Spinach Crêpe was actually Stouffer's Spinach Soufflé. Love that clue.

I managed to also unearth a menu:

I finally searched through my unruly recipe collection to find two of the three recipes that I remember enjoying so much way back in the late '70s. Not sure what the source for these recipes was at the time, but I am oh-so-happy to have them--handwritten. The third recipe was for Cheese Palacsintas. I'll add that if and when I come across it.

Ham Palacsintas
(serves 8)

1 lb. Ham, ground
1 cup Sour cream
2 Eggs
1/2 tsp. Onion powder
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt and white pepper
8 - 8" Crêpes
3 Eggs
1 cup Milk
Cracker meal
Oil for deep frying
  1. Mix ham, sour cream, eggs, onion powder, Worcestershire, salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Fill each crêpe as follows:
  3. Spread filling on 1/2 crêpe, forming a rectangle 6: long and about 1-1/2" wide.
  4. Fold filled crêpe 1/2 over to the centerline of crêpe, covering filing. 
  5. Roll up, pressing down lightly on edge so that it holds together and is slightly flattened.
  6. Mix eggs and milk together.
  7. Dip filled crêpes into egg mixture and let excess drain back.
  8. Roll each crêpe in cracker meal.
  9. Heat oil in deep fryer to 350 degrees and fry crêpes until golden, about 1-1/2 minutes.
  10. Serve with mustard sauce.
Mustard Sauce
 (2 cups)
4 Egg yolks
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. White pepper
4 tsp. Vinegar
2 cups Salad oil
1 T. Lemon juice
4 T. Mustard
2 T. Honey
  1. (In blender) Stir together egg yolks; add salt, pepper, and vinegar. Blend thoroughly.
  2. Pour oil very slowly into egg mixture while blender is on.
  3. Add lemon juice, mustard, and honey. 
  4. Blend until well mixed.

Potage St. Germain
(3-1/2 quarts)

1 - 1lb. Ham bone
4-1/2 cups Water
2 cups Chicken stock
2 cups Split peas, rinsed
2/3 cup Green onions, finely chopped
1/3 cup Carrots, diced
1/3 cup Celery, diced
1/2 tsp. Sugar
1/8 tsp. Marjoram
1/8 tsp. Pepper
2-1/2 cups Milk
1 cup Whipping cream
3/4 cup Ham, finely diced
1/2 cup Chicken, cooked and finely diced
  1. Place ham bone in large pot.
  2. Add water, chicken stock, and peas.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Skim impurities from top.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
  6. Add vegetables and seasonings.
  7. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally until peas are very soft and mixture is thick. About 30-40 minutes.
  8. Remove ham bone.
  9. Gradually stir in milk and cream.
  10. Add diced ham and chicken.
  11. Simmer, stirring occasionally. About 10 minutes.
  12. Adjust seasonings.