Monday, March 28, 2011

Kitchen Tip: Food Processor Cleanup

I recently got a new food processor, my old one was a floor model I bought when I worked in housewares 18+ years ago. My new one is such a pleasure to work with, but some things never change. A lot of food splatters up into the lid of the processor and while my new one is much easier to clean than my old one, I still dread cleaning the lid, bits of food get up inside the feed tubes so that makes 3 pieces to clean. Blech!

So here is a quick tip that will save you from having to wash the lid at ALL.
Cover the lid of your processor with plastic wrap, then put the lid on and do your processing (for the old twist style lid, place the plastic wrap over the open top of the workbowl & then put the lid on.) Now you can process your ingredients
Here is all the food that would have been flung up on my lid. Instead of having to wash the lid, I just removed the plastic and put my lid away still clean.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Help Me Please - YouTube & Vimeo Issues

I can watch most videos. If it's something stupid that I'm not interrested in, it works fine... but if I realy need the info in a video, it looks like this!
It doesn't matter if I use Firefox, or Internet Explorer. I have uninstalled & re-installed all Adobe products except for Photoshop. I've used the update driver utility on my computer & it says I have the most recent drivers (does that thing work at all? In the past 4 years & 2 laptops I have never had it find a driver update for me.)

If you have any ideas or suggestions of what else I can do it would be extremely appreciated I have some tutorials that I PAID for access to, and they look like this. I will be really peeved (at my laptop) if I have to watch them on my cell phone.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Remembering Days Gone By

I remember days gone by
My lovely mother, my brother, and I.
Brent & April

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Quick Stovetop Jambalaya

I've been eating Jambalaya since before I moved to the gulf, I used to make one baked in stoneware in the oven when I lived in California. I love the stuff.

This is not an authentic Jambalaya - I just made it up to please myself. Last week I sampled some tasty sausage at the market. I bought some then had to figure out what to do with it while at the market. I decided to do a kind-of Jambalaya on the fly. I've made it twice now. My family loves it. It comes together easy. Just 30 minutes on the stove.
Meat: Sausage, ham, boneless chicken, or a combination cut into pieces (if using raw shrimp or cooked chicken hold until the end)
1 onion
3 celery stalks (optional)
1 green bell pepper
tomato cut up or diced (optional) or a small can of diced tomatoes (reserve liquid)
1/2 teaspoon of oregano (optional)
3 or 4 Garlic cloves, minced, chopped or pressed
rice (1 1/4 cup - see note)
1 small can of tomato sauce (not spaghetti sauce) - or you can use reserved liquid if you used canned diced tomatoes above.
water (2 1/2 cups - see note)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
frozen green peas (optional)

If you are using sausage, ham, or any other meat that will render, add it to the bottom of the saucepan (or deep wide skillet for which you have a lid) and brown it to deepen the flavors and render the fat. Depending on how much fat is left you may not need to add olive oil to the pan in the next step.  You can remove the meat from the pan for the next step or leave it in depending on the amount of surface area in your pan so that you can cook the veggies.

Drizzle olive oil into the bottom of a large saucepan or pot & heat over medium. Finely chop the onion, celery, and bell pepper or process in a food processor.

Add the vegetables & oregano to the pot and saute until soft. This is a great way to get a lot of veggies into kids without them realizing what you are up to!
Add the fresh tomatoes to the pot I used grape tomatoes & cut them in half. It was what I had on hand. Add the garlic to the pan & cook until fragrant, 30 seconds or so.
Add the rice and meat to the pot (if using raw chicken it should be cut into small pieces) and mix all together. Put some tomato sauce (or reserved liquid from diced tomatoes) into your liquid measuring cup, I use about 1/2 a cup. Fill the cup up the rest of the way with water in total you will add 2 1/2 cups of liquid (this includes the tomato sauce & the water.) Add salt.
Bring the pot up to a boil, put the lid on the pot, turn the heat down to low & cook for 20 minutes. When 20 minutes have expired turn off the heat in the pan but do not remove the lid. Set your timer for an additional 5 minutes. When the timer goes off. If you are using raw shrimp &/or frozen peas add them now & replace the lid for an additional 5 minutes. If using cooked chicken pieces, warm them in the microwave & add now. Fluff the rice & serve.

Rice & Liquid Note: You can use any amount of rice in order to make as much of the dish as you want, just make sure your pot is big enough. However much rice you use, you will need to use double that amount of total liquid (water & tomato juice/sauce).
For Example- 1 cup of rice, 2 cups of liquid. 1 1/3 cups of rice 2 2/3 cups of liquid. 2 cups of rice, 4 cups of liquid.

Tomato Note: You can use any kind of tomatoes you have on hand. I have made the recipe with both tomato sauce & tomato puree & I liked the flavor better with the sauce. You could also use cut up diced tomatoes but don't measure the pieces of tomato with the liquid, only the juice. You can put more or less tomato in depending on how tomato-y you want it to taste.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Adventures in Bookland: One Of Our Thursdays Is Missing

The latest installment in one of my favorite book series was released, today.

The Thursday Next series by Jasper FForde.
Check it out. The first in the series is The Eyre Affair if you've read Jane Eyre you will love it!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Make It Monday

I'm thinking of making these candy bar holders for the bus drivers for Easter. I thought I'd go ahead & share the how to video with you.

This cute project & video tutorial come from Stampin Up! demonstrator Dawn Griffith over at Dawn's Stamping Thoughts give her blog a look. You can buy the punch used in the project from her Stampin Up website