Is this a thing?

Asking for a friend. No really. I was frying some eggs and slapped a tortilla on them. Eventually I turned ’em over and let the top of the eggs hotten up a bit then I added some super hot green sauce. It was spectacular, if a little hotter than I generally care for breakfast to be.

Provençal potato salad

Food Group met this week for dinner. Our host selected Ina Garten as the theme. (FYI, I’m selecting Betty Crocker when I get my turn.) Anyway, I have nothing against Ina, she’s always having gays over for dinner so at least I know I could possibly be on the list of people she’d eat with. But I think her food is sort of run of the mill-ish. Not that I have any problem with it, it’s well done but just relatively normal food. At least that’s what I think, as it turns out, I have many opinions.

I chose “side dish or starch” as my assignment and then picked Provençal potato salad as the dish to accompany a mustard glazed chicken dish that would be the main course. I was skeptical of the potato salad recipe because I also think that Ina over-complicates things sometimes and this recipe was complicated. I had the opportunity to undermine Ina and simplify but our commandant, er, host has often accused me of not following directions so I just went with it and really, when it comes down to it when do I ever simplify things?

Like I said, I was skeptical and it was far more complicated than I’d imagined. After a suitable amount of handwringing, covering with clean towels (Like who would put a dirty towel on anything?!?) dousing with stock, blanching, chopping, mincing and whisking, I finished it and got it over to Karen’s. I tasted it earlier on and it seemed too vinegary for me but, like I said, I’d followed the recipe with military precision. Any too-vinegary-ness would be Ina’s fault. Just sayin’

This meal was just fabulous, Ina Garten notwithstanding. The potato salad was perfect as was everything else. Menu follows, recipes are linked.

Pan fried onion dip and Green herb dip

Green salad

Provençal potato salad

Chicken thighs with creamy mustard

Mocha chocolate Icebox cake

Imma still do Betty Crocker next time.

Risotto pancakes

I had leftover risotto and seem to think I saw, somewhere, sometime, someone making risotto cakes. Seems legit.

I took the risotto, added an egg and some melty cheese, made patties, and pan-fried them. Seems good? It was only just OK. I’d rather have the risotto. Plus risotto is a lot less fussy. Not that I mind fussiness, god, I practically wrote the book, but the clean up is much easier.

Ice cream sandwiches

While I prefer always to make the very best I can make not that I always accomplish that, to be perfectly honest, I made this dessert so that little kids could eat without utensils. I find food that can be eaten with fingers is a lot less work in general, specifically clean up, well, unless we count child clean up but I’m only occasionally in charge of that. This worked out so perfectly I was amazed. I used a boxed mix because if it turned into a hellish nightmare as many things I attempt do, I didn’t want to have spent half a day making some fancy brownies only to have them be uncuttable, inedible (although that’s probably unlikely in this case) or some other disastrous thing I didn’t consider before I launched into a morning of baking on a hot day.

It was gonna be one big one that I’d cut into individual sandwiches once the thing was frozen so I divided the batter into four sections, I would need tops and bottoms (I’m avoiding an obvious joke here). Just two might have worked for one long huge sandwich but handling a long piece of brownie was likely going to be fraught (as so many things are) so I went with the quarter sections and made 2 large sandwiches to cut to size later. I have my handy dividable cake pan that a certain Asian subcontinent passport holder turns his nose up at. The only trick was knowing when they were fully baked because the recipe isn’t written for people who don’t follow instructions. It worked like a charm.

Sure it was messy, the ice cream got a little melty but, you know, who’s gonna complain? It’s an ice cream sandwich!! They’re little kids. And, well, some big ones.

UGH!!!

This just drives me crazy. One of the blogs I follow called My Plastic Free Life calls these little dealios a “gimme” meaning it’s an unavoidable plastic. Me, I’m not so much concerned about the plastic here but the ruination of fruit.

On the plus side I was forced to eat this immediately and it was the best I’ve had in years. I took one to my mother who could not believe how delicious it was commenting on every single bite.

Peppercorn

I ran out of peppercorns. Seriously? How did this happen?! I cannot cook without it. And while I do love The Spice House and for some things, like their chili powder, there is no other place, I have learned from certain Indians I know that Indian stores are much cheaper for certain items. I mean, I’m probably not going to buy filet mignon there, but peppercorns and sev, yes.

Four ounces of peppercorns at the Indian store is $3.99 and 2.3 oz at The Spice House is $6.49 although you can save 20 cents by getting the flat pack, so that’s good.

The Indian Store, which does not have a website—surprising since the Indians are the ones making the websites for the rest of the world— is located just south of Mayfair in the back of some obscure office building. You can see the Yelp reviews here.

Patriotic pie

Alternately titled, Strawberries, Cherries and an Angel’s Kiss in Spring. However, this is not a pie but a galette (which spell check is insisting on changing to Gillette) you can tell because I did not make a fancy edge. At least I think that’s the difference. I use the word pie for the alliteration.

Full disclosure; purchased crust. I did not grow any of these fruit, and I used raspberry jam as a glaze. Blueberries, cherries and strawberries. And vanilla ice cream. It was delicious.

It was also my nephew and niece’s wedding anniversary. Not that I remembered that fact.

Peaches or pretty

Which would you choose? The tulle seems to be very effective against the squirrels. It isn’t pretty but there have been no recent forays into either the peach or olive tree that I have seen. And for some reason that olive tree was a fun place for them to whizz up and down in their cute little whizzing way they do. They were constantly in it. I fucking hate them.

In the meantime it looks like a bridal party came whizzing through here and had a situation. I hope there’s cake.