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Going to have to try this cheeseburger from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives

I was watching the show last night and saw this one being made:

Make two grilled cheese sandwiches and use them for the buns for your cheeseburger topped with fried egg and tomato slices.

Sounds yummy to me - as long as the tomatoes are in season.

CSA starts up again on Tuesday, June 16

I am really looking forward to the CSA shares this year. It should be a lot easier to use all of the items we get this year now that I will be working in a completed kitchen.

Just in time too - we just started our last batch of frozen blue-barb from last year.

I am getting tired of Sriracha

It seems that almost every Asian and many Mexican restaurants are now carrying this sauce and adding it to dishes when someone asks for a dish to be made "hot" or "spicy" and I am starting to get tired of the taste of this once enjoyable sauce.

At least the little Mexican restaurant (La Fuente) that I go to in Tigard and the Rico's Tacos trucks in Hillsboro still make their own chile sauces from scratch - but I wish I could find an Asian restaurant in the Portland area that would go to the trouble of making their own chile sauces or at least have a variety of chile sauces so that every spicy dish does not taste the same.

Goat cheese lasagna

My guilt level has dropped significantly since we found out that Laurie can eat both goat and sheep milk cheese. I no longer eat my pizza covered in cheese while she is forced to pretend that the shredded coconut on her pizza is as satisfying as a nice gooey, cheesy mess. As a birthday surprise for her, I'm going to make some goats milk ricotta and mozzarella and make a nice lasagna. Homemade spelt pasta, sauce and cheese. Garlic, kale and onions from our garden. The only thing that we will probably have to go non-local is the ground turkey and a little bit of pecorino romano to top it off.

Buy whole birds instead of pieces

I wanted to make some chicken curry fried rice and figured I needed a couple of chicken breasts for the meat in the dish. Just for grins I had the butcher weigh out a couple of breasts which came to a total of $7.19 for 1.2 lbs of meat. I opted to get a whole 5.5 lb. roaster which costed me $10.40. (The butcher would have parted the bird for free but I declined because I need the practice).

Using the breasts from the roaster made four chicken curry fried rice meals, plus four barbeque chicken meals (using the legs, thighs, and wings), plus two quarts of stock (using the cacass, wing tips, and neck). And I also get the giblets which I freeze until I have enough for making giblets gravy or dirty rice.

Just one more reason why I do not shop at A**-Whole Foods

I have gone into a couple of different Whole Foods markets with friends and while I can sort of see the appeal to having the selection I can not see the appeal to paying the price. Most of the time I can get better prices through my local farm stands, food co-ops, or farmers' markets. I will admit that I do not have the same range of selection for out of season fruit and vegetables - but I only buy out of season fruits and vegetables that are locally green house grown, IQF (individually quick frozen), or canned.

Then I see this story on my local paper web-site: OregonLive.com

Carne asada came out too salty

The marinade for my carne asada produced a steak that was too salty, without enough of the acidity that I was looking for. It was good enough to eat, but not good enough to share the recipe. I'll have another go at it later in the week, after I make some carnitas, which I know will turn out fine.

Time for taqueria tacos

I love tacos in all their forms, even the American version with the hard taco shells filled with spiced ground beef. Okay, maybe not the fast food versions with the mystery meat and orange stuff that passes for cheese, but I'll go for almost any other version of tacos. While wandering the supermarket the other day, I spotted the corn tortillas and got a hankerin for the taqueria or street vendor type tacos that are served up simply with 2 small corn tortillas, topped with meat and a simple onion, cilantro and lime salsa. Unfortunately, the taco size tortillas only come in packs of 36, so it looks like I have a week of taco recipes ahead of me. It's a burden that I will just force myself to bear.

Dinner in a snow storm

Going a little stir crazy while snowbound calls for some comfort food. Thankfully we had all the fixins necessary for a big ol' turkey pot pie. The turkey was left over from Thanksgiving, and most everything else was from the garden or the farmer's market. We made so much filling that there wasn't going to be room in the pie plate, so it had to go into a casserole dish. Other than using turkey instead of chicken, the biggest difference form my chicken pot pie recipe was the use of goat butter instead of margarine or shortening.

Some advantages to a bad economy

It seems like every day, either my email or snail mail, I get some sort of coupon for a store that sells cooking stuff. The retailers are getting desperate to move some merchandise, and I'm quite willing to help them out for the right offer.

So much for thawing out the chest freezer

With the extra days at home because of the weather this winter I went through all of my stock bones and vegetable scraps in the freezer and made almost three gallons of turducken stock. I just combined all of the bird bones from the last few months into my biggest stock pot and let it cook down.

One gallon of stock was frozen into quart containers, a half gallon was frozen into one and two cup containers, and the rest was used to make four soups: broccoli, butternut squash, cauliflour, and turkey bean.

The house is nice and warm and smells really good right now and I have plenty of soups for lunches and dinners for a while. I just will not be able to empty out the chest freezer this month like I had originally planned.

Our first "winter" storm of the season...

According to the weather guessers we will be getting our first snow this weekend with temperatures down to 9F on Tuesday night. So I figured it was time to start warming up ourselves and the kitchen a bit with some turkey stock and curry pumpkin soup.

I added a dozen whole cloves, a half-dozen allspice berries, and three whole chipotle chiles to the turkey stock recipe. I will be using this turkey stock, some roasted sugar pumpkins, and a small batch of applesauce in the curry pumpkin soup.

Too close to Thanksgiving

I did it again. I waited too long to put in an order with one of the local heritage turkey farms. Even though more farms are raising more turkey this year than they have in the last half century, demand as far outstripped supply.

This time, I'm putting my name in right now for next year's bird.

kitchen remodel #71

The kitchen is all unpacked and we created our punch list with the kitchen designer.

First here is a collection of pictures taken from various points around the kitchen.

View across the kitchen from the stairs up to the loft.

View toward the back door from the stairs up into the kitchen from the garage. These stairs are right next to the stairs up to the loft.

View toward the main sink from the stairs up into the kitchen from the garage.

View toward the range from in front of the freezer.

CSA review

First a quick Q&A:

- Will we sign up with the CSA again? Yes
- What did it cost up front to sign up? $325
- What would the food have cost in the grocery store? about $440
- How did the food compare? Mostly better. When an item was bad - it was really bad.
- How many bad items were there? 3 - A head of lettuce, a tomato, and an ear of corn.
- How were store prices determined? Taken from New Seasons market web-site each week.

- If you have other questions, just let me know and I will update this section as best I can.

Now on to the review:

kitchen remodel #70

Getting closer to being done unpacking the old kitchen. We had a few issues with placing some of our pots and pans into the new cabinets. We have a few more linear feet of storage in the new kitchen but some of the cabinets are not as wide or deep as the old design. So we had to revise our storage plan a bit to make more efficient use of the new design.

I got a copy of the parts list for the refrigerator that we ordered and found that we are missing one shelf. I got the new shelf on order but it may take a few weeks to get here since these are new models.

kitchen remodel #69

We moved out of the old Amana refrigerator/freezer into the Frigidare side-by-side all-refrigerator/all-freezer units. We are still working out where things will be placed in these new appliances and we are thinking that we need to purchase another shelf for the refrigerator. We were able to empty about half of the chest freezer. We will have to eat our way through the rest of the items in that appliance before we can stop using it - I am not sure that I want to get rid of it yet.

kitchen remodel #68

Pictures from day fifty-one of the remodel.

It is done! Well, almost done. The kitchen designer wants us to move in and use it for a couple of weeks to see if there is anything that we need fixed, tweeked, or touched up.

View across the kitchen from the stairs up to the loft.

View across the kitchen toward the stairs up to the loft.

The second dishwasher finally got its front panel and toe-kick.

One view down from the loft.

Another view down from the loft.

kitchen remodel #67

Pictures from day fifty of the remodel:

View across the kitchen from the stairs up to the loft.

View across the kitchen toward the stairs up to the loft.

Hood is unwrapped.

Light covers and louvers are installed.

Baseboard trim in dining room is installed.

Baseboard trim in entry way is installed.

kitchen remodel #66

Pictures from the fourty-nineth day of the remodel.

View across the kitchen from the stairs up to the loft.

View across the kitchen toward the stairs up to the loft.

Under shelf lights above second sink are all finished. They look dim from the sides because of the egg crate louvers.

Finally got the correct coloured electrical piece in for the rail light so that went in today too. Now just need to get the shades and louvers.

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