24 February 2011

Mmmm.....mac & cheese

So last night I decided to try out a mac & cheese recipe from my latest edition of Bon Appetit....kind of. It looked really tasty and I had almost all of the necessary ingredients to make it, but somehow I just couldn't see myself going thru ALL of the steps using everything the recipe called for. I wasn't much in the mood to boil garlic & red bell peppers in a pot of water then cook the noodles in said pot...oh, and no pimentos either - I like them in my martinis and this yummy pea salad that my mom makes, but I want my mac & cheese to be, well, mac & cheese!

so I made it the usual way - cooking the elbow macaroni, then mixing it with mozzarella, cheddar, butter & heavy cream...but one thing I did follow (almost) is that I topped it with Panko (Japanese bread crumbs), although I didn't toast them in a pan first. I just tossed them with butter and grated parmesan and called it good.....and boy, was it ever! YUM!

I also baked a couple of chicken breasts to go with it, and served it all with a side of steamed broccoli

it was pretty darn good if I do say so myself, and we had leftover mac & cheese for dinner tonite!

Besides all that, though, I think I need to change my mindset about blogging a bit. I tend to think of this as a "cooking blog", therefore I'm only inclined to write when I cook, but that's not really the point! I intend for this to be a place where I impose all aspects of my life upon you, so why stop with cooking? Or knitting? Truth be told, I still have yet to finish my friend's birthday scarf, and as much as I'd like to have a million exuses as to why I've been such a slacker about it, the fact is that I've just been a slacker!

I work on it almost every day - a row or so here, an hour's work there, but nothing consistent enough to be done with it already and I've also promised him a hat to go with it! At this rate, it'll be summer before he gets it and he won't even be able to use it until next year!

Wow ~ I really must snap out of it! Perhaps now is the time to dig out that copy of "The Procrastinators' Handbook" I received as a gift 5 years ago and never read....what do you think?

17 February 2011

I'm back!

Well hello there! How are ya? I've got to say I'm much better than I was last week! Sorry I have been away for so long, but hopefully I'll get back on track here starting.........NOW!

I'm rested and recharged after a week in bed last week and a much-needed Sadhana of Mahamudra practice @ the Atlanta Shambhala Center tonight. It was not very well attended for some reason, but there is always energy in the practice whether there are one or 100 participants...

Other than that, I've mostly been slowly getting back into the swing of things. Mike and I have cooked a couple of meals together lately,
which is really nice ~ he's the grill-master of the house, so he's in charge of all outdoor cooking while I handle the kitchen stuff ~ it works out very nicely!

For instance, the other night he used the rotisserie to cook a pork loin which I'd marinated in an apple-chipotle glaze, and once on the grill, he basted with honey....yummy

while I reheated the roasted winter vegetables....

ok, I didn't actually cook that night, but I was still pretty sickly and not able to do a whole lot yet, although I did manage to get a loaf of bread made in the bread machine

so with very little effort on my part, we wound up with a pretty fantastic meal!

Other than that, I've been knitting and catching up on some reading.
I have several magazine subscriptions that generally go neglected, but I have marathon days where I'll read all the new ones cover-to-cover, so it kind of works out. I keep them all for their recipes,

yoga practices, crafting and gardening tips,

spiritual guidance, etc., so they're always close at hand should I need them, which is nice. I've also picked up my tattered old copy of On The Road by Jack Kerouac ~ it's a classic that will never get old in my book!

So.....that's what I've been up to lately! I trust you've been well, and I look forward to sharing more with you again very soon!

10 February 2011

I'll be back soon...

Hello readers, real or imagined! Sorry I've been AWOL lately ~ I've been pretty sick. I'll be back very soon, though!

06 February 2011

Conversation with ebay seller...

Dear hcuorcmahnrub,

I still have not received my shipment. Is there a tracking number?
Thank you

- zan1963

Dear zan1963,

had a feeling youd say that. whatever.

- hcuorcmahnrub


After opening a case against this seller with ebay, I was fully refunded by him within days, and (shocking, I know) the package never arrived, which can only suggest that it was never mailed to begin with...
apparently he'd told me it had been mailed but had no real intention of ever really sending it. How this guy is still allowed to sell on ebay is beyond me.

New Year's Day 2011 at Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya

04 February 2011

Rainy weekends are perfect

I know a lot of people really look forward to the weekend and get bummed out if the weather is less than great, and I'm sure I've had my share of disappointments in this department, but I can also say I absolutely LOVE rainy weekends!

If I have something planned outdoors that gets postponed because of it then yeah, maybe it sucks a little, but in general there's so much to do indoors that I get over it pretty fast!

Take this weekend, for example...ok, maybe this weekend is not a good example because we weren't planning on doing anything outside anyway, but we CAN get a lot of enjoyment from it!

For starters, I've got a pot of etouffe on the stove

and a couple of loaves of french bread in the oven

dinner's gonna be yummy!

Besides that, rainy nights in are great for wine and candlelight with my love ...
I just love being snuggled up on the sofa watching a movie, reading or just talking and "being" together ~ it's nice!

Tomorrow is a great day to head over to the High & check out some art...

go to a local coffee shop or hang out at my favorite book store

the Atlanta Book Exchange ~ I could spend hours there!

And there's always knitting to be done...I haven't made nearly the progress I should have on my friend's scarf by now!

it's only maybe 1/5 done and I still have to make the hat!

See? Busy, Busy! Oh, and speaking of that dinner...

Yep, now that's gooooooooooooood stuff!

and this really has got to be my best loaf of French bread yet ~ perfectly crisp on the outside yet fluffy and light as air in the center ~ all it takes is a little practice and some tweaking of the technique, and the results are SO rewarding, not to mention delicious! Who knew?!


01 February 2011

After a few days...

So ~ after a whirlwind weekend of theater, birthday dinners, and Sunday brunch I need to get back into the swing of blogging...but perhaps more importantly, of cooking!

Pepper Mill, E.V.O.O., and Wine...The "Holy Trinity" of my kitchen

I enjoyed having a little break, but really have missed my kitchen time. It's about the only time lately I can just hang out alone and think while doing something useful and contemplative.

For dinner tonight, I made a dish called Engagement Roast Chicken

it's an Ina Garten recipe I found on FoodNetwork.com...I don't know why she calls it that, but it looked good and turned out beautifully!

...but you can't just have chicken for dinner. Last week I bought a 5 lb bag of potatoes, and after several days of not cooking I decided to get the most bang for my buck and use the maximum amount of taters in one dish, so I made potatoes au gratin as a side.

Having not made it from scratch in a while, i consulted Foodnetwork (again), which is my go-to site, and wound up combining two different recipes. A couple of ingredients from this one, technique from that, and ended up with a dish that was pretty much my own.

I sliced up 6 potatoes, 2 onions, a shallot and several cloves of garlic in my food processor and tossed them with melted butter, cream, salt, pepper, thyme and parmesan cheese, then put them into a dish

Oh, I also sauteed some garlic and bacon together and mixed them in with the potatoes, which I baked for about 30 minutes...

I then took them out, covered them with shredded cheddar cheese and put them back into the oven until they were nice and browned...YUM!

Every meat and starch meal needs something green, so a few young peas should do nicely...

Dinner was great!

I haven't been completely useless while slacking off and not cooking or blogging, though. I've started a new knitting project for my friend Sam - he saw the one I made for Mike and asked if I'd make a purple hat/scarf set for him, so of course I had to say yes!

After trying several different techniques (ok, 3), I settled on a design and got going on the scarf last night. It's not really far enough along to warrant pics yet, but I should be ready to post some up tomorrow...

Don't worry, Kristen ~ you're next!