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December 2007
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February 2008

Potato Patties from Pounced Potatoes

I decided to make some potato patties from the pounced potato experiment. Since there was a lot of discussion on the newsgroup about whisks and their functions I decided to use the whisk shaped like a tornado to whip up two eggs. I pounced (here I go again ;-) the whisk up and down on the eggs. Dang, this is a neat way to whip up eggs, the eggs were beat nice and neat in no time.


I mixed the eggs with the potatoes before I realized I hadn't added any milk or butter to the potatoes yet, drat. I was tempted to toss the whole thing but I thought what the heck, I'll only be out a little butter if I decide to cook a couple and see how they turn out. They turned out pretty good, a little on the dry side but nothing that a good ol' blob of butter on top wouldn't cure. I topped them with a little prosciutto and some grated Parmesan cheese.


The pounced potatoes are still nice and fluffy.


With the extra patties I can have a quick and easy breakfast. Just a little zap in the microwave in the morning and I'll have a nice breakfast. Wait, I could also top one with an over easy egg yeah!!! then top with the prosciutto and cheese. Yes!!!

Fluffy Mashed (pounced) Potatoes

There has been a lot of discussion on recfoodcooking newsgroup about mashing potatoes. Too much discussion according to some people. The discussion was on the utensil used in mashing potatoes and if a wire whisk would work or not. Some say yes, others say no. Sooooo I had to see.
Even though I've done something *this way* for years I'm up to new and different ways of doing the same ol' thing.

This experiment was done with three russet potatoes that I peeled and diced into chucks. This is what I normally do when mashing potatoes. Sometimes I leave the peeling on, most times not. I typically leave the peeling on when I just boil them, then mash with a fork on my plate with a little butter.

Peeled chunked potatoes boiling away.


Drained the potatoes and put back in the saucepan they were boiled in.


I used an old wire whisk that has flexible wires. It is not a sturdy firm whisk.


I pounced (yes, pounce is a cooking term) the whisk straight up and down on top of the boiled potatoes. So far so good.


Finished pouncing.


They turned out so light and fluffy, they literally melt in your mouth.


I see the difference between mashing potatoes with a potato masher which compacts the potato and "pouncing" them with a whisk which breaks them down and fluffs them.

I prefer pounced potatoes.

Trader Joe's Starter Sauce

I don't know if this has been a standard item with them and I've only just discovered it or what, but am I glad I saw it and decided to get some. Not only that, I was smart enough to buy two.
It comes in a handy little box that tears open, how great is that!!!


I used it today for the first time when I made pizza. For my taste it needs no doctoring up for pizza.
According to the box it's chopped Italian tomatoes, fresh garlic, fresh onion and olive oil.
They say it's "ready to be doctored. Use it as a base for your own custom pasta sauce, pizza sauce, or even for your own family salsa recipe"
It's nice and chunky, a perfect blending of the ingredients. It's really tasty and not in the least tomato-y or acidic.


This will be a staple in my kitchen.

Made Pizza today

I can't remember when was the last time I made a pizza. I used the pizza dough recipe out of The Silver Palate cookbook.

First, assemble the ingredients for the crust. The wine went into me


Knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes until smooth or you give up


Place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled.


It was a little chilly today so I tucked it away in the microwave to rise. Worked like a charm.


Punch down and knead a little more then let rest


Assemble toppings while dough is resting. Trader Joe's starter sauce, feta cheese, fresh basil, portabella mushroom, chicken sausage, pepperoni, topped with parmesan cheese


I stretched the dough to fit the pan then piled the goodies on. I made it in the toaster oven so I only used half of the dough. The other half is in the freezer awaiting further instructions.


Good toppings. yummy


Hot out of the oven


Close up of slices


The crust turned out a little dry. The dough recipe called for some cake flour along with the all purpose flour. I didn't have any cake flour so the whole recipe was made with all purpose flour. I think that contributed to the dryness. I also think I baked it a little too long. It wasn't burned and the bottom was still a nice golden brown, I just think I should have pulled it a little sooner.


I'll make it again for sure, it was really tasty. version called Shrimp-oppino

My friend Christine made some Cioppino which sparked my interest. I think I've been a copy cat this week, first Barb's crepes and now Christine's Cioppino. I didn't follow her recipe, just got the idea from her.
I finally got around to making it Thursday night. For one reason or another I ended up using some of the ingredients earlier in the week, so I had to make a few adjustments. This is what I came up with.

Assembled all the ingredients. The seafood was made up of a frozen seafood blend from Trader Joe's and some shrimp I had in the freezer. The seafood was mainly shrimp, ergo the shrimp-oppino.


First sauté and onion and  a leek


Add tomatoes, wine etc....The broth was so good I could have stopped here and sipped it out of a cup.


Add seafood. The seafood blend from Trader Joe's consisted of shrimp, calamari and bay scallops.


Gobble up


I looked up a few Cioppino recipes and this is what I came up with. None of the recipes I read had fresh basil, but adding a little chopped before serving was really good.

@@@@@ Now You're Cooking! Export Format



3 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion; chopped
1  leek, white only; chopped
2 teaspoons salt
4 large garlic cloves; minced
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes; or more to taste
1/4 cup Tomato paste
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes; in juice
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
4 cups vegetable stock
1 lb. seafood blend
  I used Trader Joe's brand
1 lb. shrimp; cleaned and peeled
  basil; chopped, as garnish

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.
Add the onion, leek and salt. Sauté until the onion is translucent,
about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes,
and saute a couple of minutes more.
Stir in the tomato paste, and the tomatoes with their juices, wine,
vegetable stock and bay leaf.  Reduce the heat to medium-low.
Cover and simmer until the flavors blend, about 30 minutes.
Add the seafood blend and shrimp to the cooking liquid.
Simmer gently until the seafood blend and shrimp are just cooked
through, about 5 minutes longer. Remove bay leaf.
Season the soup, to taste, with more salt and red pepper flakes.
Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.
Sprinkle with chopped basil.

Contributor:  koko

** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.82 **

Grateau De Crepes au Epinards

My friend Barb made Grateau de Crepes au Epinards and posted the description and photos on the newsgroup.  They looked too good not to make. They inspired me to make something similar. Recipes at end of post.

I renamed them the $193.00 crepes. That's what I spent at Linens and Things, buying other things, while I was there to get a nice pan in which to make the crepes.  ;-)

I bought some fresh spinach and steamed it until wilted,


then squeezed out any excess moisture between paper towels and gave them a rough chop.


Diced up some Gouda cheese to go into the white sauce, and Black Forest Ham to layer with the spinach.


Made a white sauce using 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of flour.


Added one cup of milk and cook, cook, stir, stir until sauce is thick,


and will coat the back of a spoon. Whisk in the cheese.


Here is where my friend from Idaho called and distracted me (Love you Janet) so I didn't get a photo of the crepe batter.

First crepe in the pan. I looked for the top of the crepe to loose it's shine and start to develop a few little bubbles before I flipped it over.


Ready to assemble. I added a little of the sauce to the spinach, just enough to moisten it a little.


First layer. I made another layer ending with a crepe and topping with the sauce.


Hot out of the oven.


Cut out a slice and spooned on some of the sauce. The sauce was still oozing down the side.


With a nice glass of white that I get at Trader Joe's.

Keep reading for the recipes.

Continue reading "Grateau De Crepes au Epinards" »

Bento Box lunch

We went by Panda Machi again the other day. They re-vamped their menu and they made some good changes.

I had the Bento Box lunch.

It came with a salad, rice, sushi and a choice from 5 different entrées. I chose the shrimp. They were a little light on the sushi ingredients but otherwise, another good meal.


Of course we'll be back.

New Years Day

Annie and Jeff invited everyone over for a little family get together and a snack. We had ham with an assortment of breads, fruit, hummus, salad, sweet rolls, candies,


and a delicious dessert Annie made using a Christmas gingerbread house.


Annie getting rolls ready.


The side of the refrigerator keeps little hands busy.


We all just hung out together and enjoyed each others company. Stan and Pluvia visiting.


Patti, dad Alberto and John.


John, dad Robert.


I'm so glad Annie still had her tree up. It is so unique I just had to get a close up of it.



Mike, John, Paul and Erin congregate in the kitchen.


Erin keeps Margie company while watching the kids.


Annie takes a break with mother in law Mary Jane and husband Jeff.


Patti, me, Erin.


Our family from Mexico brought Annie the menudo she's been craving.


I think it was Mike that looked like he might want a taste.
Warning...don't try and get between a pregnant woman and her menudo.


After we ate and visited a while, a few of us walked up the two blocks to where the Mt Soledad landslide happened. We were met at the barrier by a security guard and were not allowed to proceed.
We took a little walk in the other direction and were treated to this beautiful sunset on our way back.


When we came back from our walk the Christmas pudding was ready.


Mmmmmm perfect


We had a great time.