I’m sorry, because you’ll be singing this all day:
TaMara has been a Balloon Juice writer since 2015.
I thought I’d drop this here in case you missed it. Once again, the Republicans are OUTRAGED at how diplomacy works. Fuck them.
I’ll try and find the actual video to embed, but until then, click this link for the video and the outline.
UPDATE: Try this video, looks like it’s the entire speech..
One of my favorite food videos. Watching frozen raspberries break in to druplets. So pretty. I have no idea how to find liquid nitrogen. Because I am not a super-villain. :-) But looks like fun.
This week has been crazy, with the tornado taking out my brother’s family home, to my friend losing her son and having to find a home for his pups (we may have a Balloon-Juice match, I’ll keep you up to date), not to mention work. I almost bagged the recipe exchange, but at the last moment decided to put together a simple one. So from the blog:
JeffreyW’s delicious blueberry bars
For tonight’s recipe exchange, I put together the recipes based on what’s been cooking in our kitchens this week.
Missing my fresh fruits, I make do with flash-frozen berries:
Love the full-on strawberry flavor in my Strawberry Bread (recipe here)
My afternoon pick-me-up of late probably isn’t for everyone, but really works for me. Hit of energy and curbs my sweet cravings. I blend a pound of frozen strawberries, a pound of frozen blueberries and about a cup of frozen raspberries in my Vita-Mix, which creates a very smooth mixture (if you ignore the raspberry seeds) which unlike juicing, retains all the fiber. I add it and an equal amount of water to a big pitcher, mix well. I have a glass of this in the afternoon and a pitcher lasts a good two weeks in the refrigerator. YMMV.
My pressure cooker has been getting a real work out lately. A couple of meals to continue on the one-pot theme from last week:
In this Pressure Cooker Pot Roast (click here), I pushed the limits and began with a frozen roast, just to see what would happen. It turned out great and the booze made up for some of the flavors lost by not being able to brown the beef first.
Seriously, don’t all JeffreyW’s meals look delicious? Above is his yummy pot roast and below is his Pork Mole
I would have a Bixby update, but he’s been so crazy today, I haven’t had time to download the photos and video from our play date this week. Crazy-assed dog. (Update: I did find and post a forgotten 10 wk photo, was he really ever that small?)
For tonight’s featured recipe, thinking ahead to Valentine’s Day, these are a fun, elegant treat. I’m actually making them for a birthday get-together.
Pretty and tasty, they were inspired by a novel I was reading. If you want to read the full Food in Fiction post, click here.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 eggs,
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup chopped raspberries
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup dry cocoa
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
Grease and flour muffin tins. Cream together oil, butter and sugar. Mix in remaining moist ingredients, one at a time, until well mixed. Sift together dry ingredients. Mix dry mixture into creamy mixture and beat for 2 minutes at high-speed. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full and bake for 20-25 minutes, until they bounce back when pressed lightly.
- 6 oz dark chocolate
- 6 oz heavy cream
Double boiler (I use a metal bowl over a saucepan with about an 1 inch of water)
Place chocolate and cream in top of boiler, bring water in bottom half to a boil, reduce heat to med-high and let chocolate melt, stirring occasionally. When completely melted, remove from heat and stir until cream and chocolate are completely mixed. Let cool and dollop over cooled cupcakes
- 2 cups raspberries
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
Puree raspberries until smooth, add raspberries and sugar to saucepan and heat to a low boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute, reduce heat to medium and stir constantly until thickened, remove from heat and add lemon juice. Let cool and spoon over frosted cupcakes.
Note: For a layer cake, take 1/2 of the ganache, let it cool, mix with 1 cup crushed raspberries and spread between layers. Keep the other 1/2 of the ganache warm and pour over cake to make a beautiful and smooth coating. Serve with warm raspberry sauce.
That’s it for this week. Have a fun and safe weekend and say a little prayer for tornado damaged areas of Florida, as they are expecting more rain and stormy weather. If you didn’t see it, here is my brother’s house, or what’s left of it. – TaMara
Seems there is a debate again tonight. I didn’t see any posts in waiting, so I thought we might need a debate thread.
Let the skewering begin.
Hi everyone! Pet bleg.
My dear friend Jackie lost her son unexpectedly this past week and now these two little ones need a new home. They are located in the LA area and I’m sure could find a ride around the California area. Although, Jackie might want to meet you and let me tell you from experience, that would be fun. They are about 5 years old, well trained and good with people and other animals.
They are living with a friend of the family right now, but that is very temporary. I know it would take a lot off of Jackie’s mind if she knew they had found a good home.
I have hope with her large circle of friends they will find a home soon, but so far, they’re still uprooted and confused.
If you want to know more or are interested, shoot me an email at whats4dinnersolutions (at) live (dot) com
ETA: Thanks to Raven for reminding me, it’s preferred they are kept together. And I mean, come on, how much room could these two take up? Asks the servant to a Great Dane.
What’s this? An actual recipe exchange? Could it be I’m back among the creative and productive? Or just the fact I’ve been snowbound today? Whatever the reason, here it is, from my blog:
This is the time of year when I wander around the store looking for anything fresh. I am big on farm stands, shopping the outside aisles of the store (away from all the processed stuff) and cooking from scratch. This is the difficult time for creative cooking in my kitchen. I fight the urge that long cold nights provoke: heavy, carb-laden meals. But there is no getting around it, there is more pasta, more bread, more potatoes, more cookies (!!) and less fresh, raw veggies as the winter days wear on.
But I do have my go-to vegetable broth that is the base to almost all my soups. It is rich, creamy and satisfies that need for hearty comfort foods without all the guilt. Because I have a Vita-Mix, I just throw in celery, carrots, corn, green beans, spinach, tomatoes, green or red pepper, onion, dash of lemon juice , and water, blending until smooth. Spices vary depending on what type of soup I’m making, but a dash of lemon juice really brings out the flavors. It’s great on its own, or as a base for hearty vegetable soup, chicken tortilla soup, tomato-spinach soup and more.
Lately, besides soups, I’ve been making a lot of one-pot meals. I throw a few items into the pressure cooker and 20 minutes later, open it up and there’s a nice dinner. Not gourmet, but flavorful and good for a quick supper. Tonight’s feature recipe is one of those that can be cooked in a pressure cooker or saucepan. Put it together, cover and a bit later, dinner.
Let’s start with some other quick and easy recipes:
In the photo above, JeffreyW takes leftovers and makes a whole new awesome dinner. That’s why I always try to make extra sauce and freeze leftovers for quick meals.
A Vegetable Pasta Toss (recipe here) is a friend of mine’s go-to meal on busy school nights. She varies the vegetables and spices to change it up.
Crispy Potato Chicken (recipe, full dinner menu and shopping list here) is easier than it sounds and a great way to shake up that typical chicken and potato dinner. Also you can easily substitute fish or pork chops for the chicken.
If you are like me and received pears for Christmas, here are two fresh and easy recipes with pears as the centerpiece:
Asian Pear, Cabbage and Grape Salad (click here)
Walnut Pear Salad (click here – there is also a dinner menu, Beef and Pepper Sub recipe and shopping list at that link)
I messed up the settings on my camera over the holidays (fixed now), so I’m a little short on photos this week. But here is a cell phone shot of my walk yesterday with the Bixster:
Tonight’s feature recipe is truly one-pot. I’ve made it in the pressure cooker successfully, but unless you’re confident with your pressure cooker, I’d stick with the saucepan. Unless you have an electric pressure cooker, like JeffreyW’s new one. I’ve paired it with an easy vegetable side.
Spicy Chicken & Rice
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 boneless chicken thighs (breast if you prefer)
- 1 green pepper (substitute yellow or orange if you prefer)
- 1 red pepper
- 1 onion
- 1-2 tbsp pickled sliced jalapeños
- 1 cup uncooked rice
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 oz sliced black olives (opt)
large saucepan or dutch oven
Heat ½ tbsp oil in pan, add chicken and cook until browned on both sides. Remove and set aside to cool enough to cut into large pieces. Add remaining oil, onion, peppers & jalapenos to pan and sauté. Stir in uncooked rice and stir for 1 minute. Add water, chicken broth, tomatoes, & chicken to pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer, covered, until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Add olives and serve.
Peas w/Mushrooms & Onions
- 8 oz pearl onions (fresh or frozen)
- 4 mushrooms, washed & sliced
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- ½ tbsp butter
- 16 oz frozen peas
- salt & pepper to taste
saucepan with lid, bowl
In the saucepan over medium, heat oil and butter. Add onions, mushrooms and stir until onions are softened. Remove to a bowl. Add peas and a splash of water to the saucepan and cover. Let simmer until peas are heated through. Add more water as needed – but you want them to steam, not boil. Once they are heated through, add mushroom mixture back to the saucepan and toss, adding salt and pepper to taste.
That’s it for this week. Next week I’ll continue to try and highlight recipes that are fresh and easy, to combat the winter blues – TaMara
Remember, only 42 days until spring training. 87 until opening day.
ETA: Holy punctuation Batman, what is with the dancing periods and big spaces? I’m sure Opus is behind this.
Bixby is not amused to be included in the festivities. There is an actual update and lot of photos past and present at this link (plus bonus shots of my niece’s new puppy – an early Christmas gift).
I just wanted to stop by and say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Bah-Humbug if that’s your thing.
I’m putting the finishing touches on tonight’s Christmas Eve party menu. All the recipes have been posted here before and I’m short on time, so I’ve linked to the recipes because I just didn’t have time to write one for you. Apologies in advance.
The menu this year is very simple and as stress-free as I could make it. I like to spend time with my company, not hide out in the kitchen.
- Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Sauteed Zucchini
- Marinated Mushrooms
- Spinach-Raspberry-Walnut salad
- Garlic Bread
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundaes
The rest of the holiday weekend will be spent with fire dancers, lighting displays and Holiday Light Mini-Golf. We’ll be freezing our butts off for sure. I bought Star Wars tickets as gifts for a bunch of people and we’re seeing that on Tuesday (this is a spoiler free thread).
What’s on your menu for the next few days? What are you cooking for Christmas? Turkey, Roast Beef, or something off the traditional menu?
Consider this an open thread.
ETA: I know I’m big-footing John’s post, but face it, it’s about container houses. Besides if I leave it to auto-post it’s only 50-50 it would post. I’m sure he’ll forgive me.