Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Caesar Dressing

One of my favorite things... Fresh homemade Caesar dressing.

1 egg yolk
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 anchovy or dash of Worcestershire sauce
Salt & pepper
Fresh grated Parmesan ( as much as you prefer but start with 2 tbsp )
Juice of half a lemon

Microwave the chopped clove in the oil. Throw all ingredients in a mini food processor. WHIR.

It should be thick, pale beige, and amazing.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Getting Back In the Groove

My friends have informed me that anything funny I say on Facebook is cheating those who prefer to read my wit via blog. I haven't been here in a while, they are right about that.

So, I'm back. I'm not saying I'm going to be here much, but I'll try harder. After a new job, a relocation to San Antonio, house sale-and-buy, and adjusting to a new home, I finally feel like maybe I have time for this.

And I have been cooking. Just not for you.

I brought proof:
I know, gone for 6 months and all I've got is salad? That's not bringing it. That's like leaving it. In the hotel room. Next to your expensive sunglasses, which no one would EVER steal.

Still, Taste Tester is still alive, so that's proof I've been cooking. Soon I will share more.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

No More Boxed Pasta

Poor Taste Tester.  He's not allowed to bring salsa, cookies, or any type of bottled sauce into the house. And that list keeps getting longer: now it's no more Worcesterchire sauce (made it), no pies (come on), and pasta (the subject of today's post).

Fresh pasta is just more delicious and satisfying than dried pasta. Once I got the process streamlined, I make it instead of dried pasta even when time is scarce. The fluffiness, the light feeling on your stomach when you're done, and even its flexibility appeals to me. Lasagna, fettucine, linguine, ravioli, and even angel hair is hard to eat from dried pasta once you've tried it fresh.

Now, don't get me wrong. It can seem intimidating. One of the first times I tried it, I was trying to make a birthday meal for TT and guests were coming. My mother helped, and we used a pricey new Kitchen Aid attachment which extruded the pasta. But instead of doing its job, it warmed up the pasta, pushing out a gooey and sticky mess that I ended up hurling against the wall in fury. Mom fed me wine.

Currently, I don't use extrusion, I just use the $29 countertop machine to roll to the desired thinness and cut it via an attachment. I think I got it at Sears. Go get you one. Be generous with the flour. Get a friend to help, it's fun. Both of you sip some wine and you roll it out while the other person peels apart the pieces stuck together and makes a big pile of floury goodness.

Today I've made 2 big balls of pasta, one herb-green and one plain, let it rest for an hour, and I'm rolling it all out and freezing it so that I will not have to settle for dried pasta when it's late and we're tired.The recipe is simple and you've seen it here before (clearly I've become a bit more optimistic since then, in that post I thought I could never do this right).

herb tagliatelle
Into ziplocks and into the freezer, ready for me when I'm ready for it. Each serving usually feeds 4 to 6 people, so you could portion it to individual servings.  Or just plan for guests who will be very impressed.

New Floors and Really, Truly Finished Remodel

After the busy holidays, January took off like a bullet. Whatever delicious cooking has happened, no documentation has occurred. Within January we have been to Georgia, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and NYC. Now it's already February and all I want to do is stay home and cook and garden, despite knowing the summer will murder anything I attempt to grow.

Taste Tester is upset that the final flooring hasn't debuted here. It's true, we worked our butts off getting it done over New Year's Eve, and the adventure should have been here. Between buying one floor and deciding instead on another, there was also the discovery of 3 years' worth of rotting water beneath the floor. It was so foul we had to mop the cement with ammonia and then again with bleach, but it still reeked.

Here's the results, though: hand scraped, engineered flooring that resists dog claws and clicks in without glue or nails. Fact is, I could take it with me if we sell. The room is big, open, and welcoming. Next project: kitchen tile plus a possible island.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Renovation Completed In The Nick of Time

All done for now- minus flooring and some trim, but it certainly feels done. It's huge!

Our Christmas tree came from our front yard. It's a little pathetic but deserving of love too.

I really need to invest in a better camera.

That's a metal bat that my brother welded for me!

Justin and Lacy enjoying the new space

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Yep, That's A Room

Since Saturday we've gone from this....

To this! Tonight they should be all done and it will be white. In addition, Rick has promised to score me 4 new dining room chairs that perfectly match our table, and I can begin decorating for Christmas.

Why, you ask, do your dining room chairs not match your table? Well, it's complicated and kind of a long story: I'm cheap.

See, now you understand. I knew you would once I explained. So, won't you stay for dinner? We have decorating to do!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Floor complete, rotten wall coming down

The window was going to move to the right wall here, but since that faces west--we're thinking no window.
 We now have a fly infestation of horror-movie proportions, likely owing to having all windows and doors ajar all of yesterday. After the floors were finished last night, Rick spent an hour bounding around on them trying to find spots not screwed in completely, then crawled on his hands and knees with the drill patching all the places he could "hear" were uneven.  I told the dogs I thought he'd gone 'round bend.

As of last night we agreed that this window, which is moving because we want our TV on that wall, may just be done away with since the wall it would move to a) faces west and b) faces the neighbor's house.  Now in the morning light, I think the room will be awfully dark without a window.  However, we will store it and Mr. Renovation can change his fickle mind later and install it.

Siding to be added here today--board and bat on top, lap board on the bottom, with a shelf separating them. Wish I could paint the brick now but that's for later.