Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fat Tuesday and Flap Jacks

When we were in Portsmouth, we were members of the North Church of Portsmouth. Each Fat Tuesday the congregation would get together for a pancake supper with entertainment. Before joining, I had never heard of this Shrove Tuesday tradition, but it was interesting, and a cheap way to feed a whole lotta people, and have a little fun while doing it.
I never really liked pancakes, though. With all the yummy things in the world, I wondered why people would eat them? Even waffles are way yummier than pancakes...
When I was a kid, my mom made flap jacks. From what I remember, she made them like her mom and sisters made them. Flap jacks were served when there weren't enough eggs in the house for everyone to have breakfast, as a way to stretch what was available. Flap jacks are like crepes. A couple of eggs, some flour and water, and you can feed quite a few folks for very little money.
Since we are not around for the Shrove Tuesday celebration, we decided we'd make our own tradition here in the city with the much yummier flap jacks.
I used 2 eggs, about 2/3 c flour and probably a cup and a half of water, and I used my mixer to make sure there were no lumps. The key is to make the better *very* thin. It should pour easily from your ladle, and cover the bottom of the very hot pan quickly as you swirl the pan around. If you find your batter is too thick, add a little water. If too thin add a little flour. It's not rocket science, but the key is to make it thin enough. I used a 1/4 cup ladle in a 10" frying pan, and my flap jacks covered the whole bottom of the pan.
Once the batter is spread in the buttered pan, let it cook until the edges curl up just a bit - then you know that the underside is done. Flip it over for another minute or 2, and then serve. The person lucky enough to get this bit of deliciousness should be ready and waiting to sprinkle a bit of brown sugar over the crepe, and roll it up quick so it stays warm. Cold flap jacks are not yummy at all. If you don't use all your batter, don't feel bad pouring it down the sink. It was inexpensive to begin with :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chillin' on a Rainy Day

I've spent much of my day on face book playing mafia wars. OK - not the most productive use of time, but boy - it's a fun free endeavor! I don't feel bad since the apartment is clean, and my sweety is happy :) Maybe he'll play too :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Kathy and Sarah Come For a Girls Weekend!

I met Kathy and Sarah in the Largest Store in the World - also known as Macy's :) Shopping was in progress and Sarah had picked out a couple items including a very cool green DKNY jacket.
Sarah paid for her purchases, and we decided we were HUNGRY! We went to Legends on 33rd street in Murray Hill. Kathy and I had burgers and Sarah had a crab and shrimp melt. There was live Jazz playing - a little loud, but nice - and we enjoyed our meals :)
After lunch we strolled down 34th street and Sarah tried on some cute sunglasses at American Eagle. We went back to Macy's to do some more shopping and tried on a bunch of stuff, and after a while we were beat. We walked up to Kathy & Sarah's hotel and laid down for a while and watched half a movie. That revived us!
Sarah wanted to see Ground Zero, so we took the 1/2/3 down to Chambers Street - unfortunately there is nothing to see - it was all wrapped so you can't look in to the rubble. Since we couldn't see anything we took a tour of Century 21. We didn't get anything - it was too painful waiting in line :)
It was great to see them and spend the afternoon. Happy Birthday Sarah!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Board Package Was Submitted

Woo! The board package was submitted - now the co-op board will look at everything we have ever done in our lives and determine if we are people with whom they would like to be in a partnership.

It's amazing how much time and effort goes in to this - not including all the time that our friends and business associates have spent writing kind letters of recommendation, our realtor and I spent 6 and 1/2 hours together putting this package together.

On the one hand it's frustrating to think about this barrier to entry of ownership in the city, but on the other, it's great to know the requirements to become our partners in the future are sufficiently high that we aren't stuck in the same place the country finds itself.

One more step forward, and a number more to take :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Suzee's Feta and Spinach Stuffed Lemon Chicken

I forgot to take a picture of this dish - it is really pretty. Next time :)

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Olive Oil
1 Lemon
3/4 c feta cheese crumbles
1 10 oz package spinach

Pre-heat the oven to 375 - feel free to pop some veggies in to roast to serve with the chicken. I roasted zucchini rolled in a little olive oil and seasoned with salt and oregano, and added some grape tomatoes when I finished the chicken in the oven.

Filet each breast until you've cut almost all the way through. Open the breast so that it is butterflied (and it looks like 2 smaller breasts still connected). Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, and brown them in an oven proof pan with a little olive oil.

Defrost the spinach, and squeeze out the extra liquid.

Once both sides of the chicken are browned, top each piece of chicken with 1/3 of the spinach and 1/4c of feta.

Squeeze the lemon, and add the juice to the pan.

Pop it into the oven for 10 or 15 minutes.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Suzee's Hot Chili Salad

Last night I wanted to make a small quicky version of chili and serve it over a salad. I don't make salads for myself, and since generally I'm not out and about at lunch time, I don't buy them either. I do really like them, but Rick will generally have salad every day for lunch, and when he gets home, he prefers something warm. I was thinking that since the chili was warm, I'd be all set.

My Fresh Direct order came, and I had ordered some swiss chard and some cabbage. We like sauteed greens, and cabbage all sorts of ways (though my favorite is roasted with a little olive oil and salt :). Hmmm....I could make a hot salad with that.

I sliced up half of the cabbage and all the chard, saving the stems. I just sauteed the greens with olive oil and garlic. Yes - since it's all in season the greens were sweet and delicious. I chopped those stems, sauteed them and added them to the chili. And I served this on a plate with a healthy portion of the greens and topped it with the chili. I really liked this, but Rick was not so thrilled.

That merely means I got to have the left overs all to myself at lunch today :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I Have A Confession...

I woke up this morning thinking about that amazing dinner we had last night! I'm feeling particularly proud as Rick really raved about it, too :) So, what was different than all the other meals?

First was the meat. Rick bought this special cut at the Grand Central Market. It's called a sweetheart filet. It had a bit of bone on one side, and some of the fat left on it as well. And it was dry aged for 21 days. I pan fried the outside to get some good caramelization in a dry, hot pan, and popped in the oven to finish it. Simple salt and pepper seasoning. The meat tasted so rich from the dry aging - it was absolutely amazing. If you get the chance to pick up some dry aged beef, do it. Yes, pricey, but for a special occasion, much cheaper than going out. We both thought this was the best piece of meat we've had since we came to New York.

Second were those incredible potatoes. I feel particularly proud to have thought up that flavor combination of smoked gouda and adding the garlic. The sweet smokey flavor was simply divine. I think it may have overpowered a roast chicken, but with this extra beefy beef, it was lovely. I've told you before that I don't like to make things that take a lot of dishwashing, and as you can imagine, this took quite a bit (food processor, mandoline, pan for the sauce, and eventually the bakeware). So I wouldn't make this on a weeknight. But, I will make this again :)

Sorry to gush and toot my own horn, but you didn't come to dinner so I had to share!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Potatoes Au Gratin a la Suzee

Today is Valentine's Day, and Rick and I decided to stay in figuring that the city restaurants would be full of people trying to make a spark or remember romance, and there would be lots of bumping and expensive drinks. It's my gift to him, and our anniversary is coming up soon, so we'll be heading to One if by Land, Two if by Sea for that lovely occasion (5 years, can you believe it?). So creating a lovely romantic evening at home is nice :)

Rick brought home some steaks yesterday, and a nice little heart shaped cheese cake. I asked him what he would like along with the steaks, and he paused. Potatoes au gratin. OK. I haven't made these in a while, but hey, I'm game. He really wasn't too interested in a vegetable, but I picked up some spinach. Gotta have something healthy.

I perused the web and saw this blog posting. I remembered that I have my Betty Crocker with me :) This blogger also had an entry for the Barefoot Contessa's Chicken with Forty Cloves. I have that book, but it's in storage. At any rate it gave me an idea. Rick and I love roasted garlic (so nutty and sweet!), and this dish bakes for a total of an hour and 40 minutes. So, I decided to add in a few fat cloves which I sliced to the dish. And, I substituted smoked gouda for the sharp cheddar, and added more onions.

So here is the recipe:
4 cups sliced potatoes (1/8th of an inch thick - a manoline is helpful if you have one - I left the skins on - gotta get some fiber into my sweety)

1 large onion peeled and sliced (same 1/8th inch setting)

6 or 7 fat cloves of garlic peeled and sliced

1/2 stick of butter (1/4 cup)

1T flour

salt and pepper to taste

2 cups whole milk

2 cups shredded smoked gouda

1/4 cup fine bread crumbs (I used a stale piece of crusty bread whizzed up in the food processor)

Slice up the potatoes and layer them in an ungreased 1.5 quart dish.

Slice up the onions.
Melt the butter on medium low in a pot, and add the onions, salt and pepper.

As the onions cook, peel and slice the garlic. Add that to the pot.
Add the flour and stir it around for a minute or 2 to cook the flour.

Add the milk and all but a 1/2C of the cheese and stir continuously until it starts to bubble. Keep in on the heat and keep stirring for another minute or so to thicken.
Pour the cheese mixuture on to the potatoes.
Pop the potatoes onto a cookie sheet (to catch spills) and put it all in the oven at 325 for 1 hour 20 minutes uncovered.
Mix the breadcrumbs and the remaining cheese.
Once the potatoes are done, pull them out and sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture on top. Pop them back in for another 20 minutes.
Voila - Potatoes Au Gratin a la Suzee :)

Dinner was very delicious - these potatoes are most amazing with beef. Enjoy!

Friday, February 13, 2009

My Sweety Brought Me Presents :)

Rick came home, and preparing for Valentines day he brought me a balloon, and 2 dry aged steaks. How sweet is that?
Rick's got to do homework tomorrow, but I think he'll be free for dinner :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Are you a Tigger or an Eeyore?

This you tube video - an hour and 15 minutes - I've enjoyed it.

Randy Pauch from Carnegie Mellon University - the last lecture.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Quick NH Visit

I made a quick run to get old tax returns and reference letters for the closing and managed to see a few friends - working hard on the closing and gathering everything needed for the board package!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Superbowl XLIII and Wings

The first brewski has been cracked! The football shirt is donned! We are ready for a good show!

OK - I'll admit - I like the commercials better than the game for a year like this. You know - one where the Patriots aren't playing. Rick still likes the game and he gives me the play by play when I'm not totally paying attention. Of course TiVo helps because we can rewind and fast forward :)

Wings, veggies & dip and popcorn are on tap for snacks - I'll be missing Ann's ribs and christening Amber and John's new bar in their party room. Maybe they will post pictures!

Now that I see the wings recipe from Dana Carpender is posted all over the web, I'll give it to you now. Truly - buy her books - she is amazing. You can get the 500 low carb recipes for less than $5 used on Amazon.


3 lbs wings - cut 'em up into drumettes and what ever those other pieces are called. If you make stock, keep the tips for that.

1.5 cups parmesean cheese grated

2T dried oregano

2T dried parsley

1.5T Paprika

Pepper to taste - don't bother with salt since the parmesean is full of it

1/2C butter melted.

Mix the cheese and spices as a breading substitute. Dip the wingettes into the butter, then in the cheese mixture.


Bake at 350 degrees (not hotter) for an hour. Kick yourself in the butt for not making a double batch. Watch people inhale them.