Category Archives: Food

Not all kitchen adventures turn out well

Not successfulI have to admit that not all of my kitchen adventures are successful. Last night I thought I had a winner. But, unfortunately, it turned out to be one of the “not successful” ones. That’s a cut below the “less than successful” efforts.

It started with a fresh, non-GMO chicken on sale at Whole Foods. That sounded good. Seizing on the opportunity, I added salt and pepper inside and out, then stuffed it will fresh lemon, garlic, and rosemary. Then I set it in a pan on a bed of vegetables, including onions, fennel, carrots, red potatoes, and celery, a bit of thyme sprinkled in as well. Baked at high heat for almost 90 minutes. It all looked beautiful. But unfortunately it was strikingly bland. Blah, even. The chicken was nice and moist, but not flavorful. That was a surprise. And since the flavor was missing, it couldn’t trickle down over the vegetables as I expected it to.

I wasn’t a happy camper after finishing eating. You can linger over your successes, but cut your losses short. So I was the first to get up from the table and start clearing and cleaning. So it goes.

We took them for granted….

I got this brief email from an old friend in Kahala. We’ve been friends since our days at Kahala Elementary School.

He dropped a bag with a few mangoes for us over the weekend. We were in Kaaawa, but he left them by the front door. When I emailed to thank him, I mentioned our meager mango crop this year. We only got a handful of mangoes from one tree, none from the other.

This was his reply:

This was a weird mango year. Tree full of blossoms and not a single honey bee. Used to be that you could hear the buzzing, but this year nothing. So smaller crop.

I called the bee hotline and was informed that the wild hives have been eradicated. Guess we took wild bees for granted.

Yes, we certainly did.

Pizza night!

On a recent evening…homemade pizza.

Okay, I admit that the pizza crust was a store-bought shortcut. It was whole wheat, thin-crust, two per package from our neighborhood Whole Foods.

Then I made a tomato sauce from canned tomatoes. Toppings included low fat turkey pepperoni, a crumbled reduced fat Italian sausage, mushrooms, garlic, black olives, red sweet pepper, and hot red pepper flakes. Paired with a green salad with avocado and cherry tomatoes, and the red wine of the night (I don’t recall which one). Served on a vintage Vernon Kiln plate in Monterey pattern, hand painted under glaze.

Not close to perfect, but a pretty good meal on short notice.

Thin-crust pizza

Feline Friday: From soup to cats

Duke at the tableI made a chicken soup from the carcass and bones left over from dinner at our friends’ home last weekend, and Duke invited himself onto the table. He’s much more polite than Romeo, who will try to intercept bites of food between table and mouth. Duke, on the other hand, will wait patiently to see whether he’s offered any snacks.

By coincidence, Betty Shimabukuro did a nice little story about stretching out a chicken into nearly a week’s worth of meals (“1 chicken, 4 meals“).

I’ve written several times about this same trick. The first example I found in a quick search dates back to April 2008.

I came back to the subject in an October 2015 post, and again in February of this year.

Besides the cat, our chicken soup was accompanied by artichokes (which have been beautiful and relatively inexpensive recently), a plate of olives, hot bread, and a red wine. I threw a bunch of things into the soup, including onion, garlic, hot red peppers, kale, spinach, leftover rice, celery and carrots, bay leaves, some salt. It looks like we’ll get two dinners out of the soup, and at least one additional serving, probably for a lunch.

–> See the rest of this week’s Friday Felines (lots of good photos this week)!

Leftover night: Eating out of the refrigerator

Last night we were trying to eat up various leftovers, odds and ends had lingered long enough in the refrigerator.

Usually if we just have a few scraps of cooked meat, we will heat some refried beans and then use the meat to make a filling for soft tacos. But Meda likes to have an avocado on hand when we go that route, and it was lacking.

So back to the drawing boards. There were chicken scraps from the last cooked Costco chicken we had late last week, one leftover chicken thigh, and a couple of small bits of meat from Friday night’s dinner. And a good amount of watercress, after the previous night’s watercress salad.

So we cooked a little brown rice, and I threw together an informal stirfry. It was pretty plain. Onion, garlic, then the bits of meat, shoyu, a little sherry, two diced hot peppers, then the watercress. I forgot the little tomatoes I was supposed to add, which was a shame.

Meda made a few deviled eggs, using up hardboiled eggs she had made earlier. Oh, there was also the last part of an artichoke from a previous evening, just the heart, really.

The result, with a glass of shiraz, not too bad for a quickie meal.

Photo with my iPhone. Click to see a larger version.

Clearing the refrigerator