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Archive for October, 2012

Hurricane Sandy, Part duh.


I’m proud to say all we got was a rush job on stripping the fall leaves out of our trees.  We’re going to have some Cowbellion de Rakin to do after the ground dries up.    We never lost power (LOVE UNDERGROUND UTILITIES) and thanks to frequent pruning no limbs were injured in the making of this “frankenstorm”.

The eye passed right over us.   The wind gusts probably never topped 40-50 mph out here, and we got about 8-10 inches of rain in 24 hours.  It wasn’t much of a hurricane, but baby, it was C-O-L-D.  At midnight, it was 40 degrees here in N0VA*, and snowing on our mountain in West Virginia.  You won’t see that in the average coastal hurricane.

*Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC..

Yesterday I cooked a fabulous chicken rosemary in the oven.  The leftovers are going into a pie for lunch.  For dessert last night, I was thinking about the combination of pumpkin and chocolate.  At this time of year, who isn’t thinking about pumpkin?  I’m buying a couple of cans every time I go to the grocery store.  It’s high in fiber, relatively low in carbohydrates and I love it.

Pinterest to the rescue.  I found the recipe below, followed it to the source, then read the reviews to find a better version.  Hubby was skeptical.  He’s not a pumpkin fan.  He even refused to lick the batter spoon–a first for him.

A skeptic is convinced–pumpkin and chocolate go together.

The original blogger recommended Ghiradelli chocolate chips and I heartily agree.  I happened to have had a bag on hand, although mine were dark chocolate and not the milk chocolate she recommended.  The larger drops really made the difference.  They are almost as big (but not quite as yummy) as Wilbur Buds.  (If you ever go to Hershey, PA or Pennsylvania Amish country, do yourself a favor and go by the Wilbur Chocolate Factory and get some Buds.  They make Hershey Kisses taste like mud in comparison.)

I sprinkled sugar seasoned with cinnamon, mace* and ginger onto the batter before baking.  Oh–I also substitute mace for nutmeg in my baking.  Hubby doesn’t like nutmeg.  Mace gives the same quality but is sweeter and not as strong.  Mace, don’t you know, is made from the feathery inner husk outside the nutmeg seed.  I also put in the whole can of pumpkin; it added about an extra 1/2 cup and made the batter a bit more moist.  They really are MUCH more moist than they look in the photo.  Without spraying the food with glycerin it’s difficult to make food look moist in a photo. (That’s why there’s a fork in the picture.  You can see the cake clinging to the fork.  It’s so moist it’s really more like cake than bars.)

Serve it warm with a good vanilla ice cream and watch his eyes water.

It’s a Hurricane, so I cook

The good thing about modern weather observation satellite technology and around-the-clock weathercasting is non-stop information about big storms.  That’s also the bad thing.  Hurricane Sandy has become the disasteur de juer for every 2-bit with a bad sports coat and a microphone and a dozen wannabe Weather Channel meteorologists in windbreakers.  I couldn’t take it any more.  Hubby took a nap.

I thawed out some chick and pulled out one of my mother’s best slow cooker recipes.

Chicken Rosemary

Rosemary Chicken with Quinoa

This is essentially a slow-cooker recipe.  I wanted to make “a big mess”, so I needed to use the oven and adapted the recipe accordingly.   I’ll give you the modified and original versions.

Oven Version

  • Family pack chicken leg quarters (6 leg quarters)
  • 1 cup fresh rosemary needles (about 2 feet of sprigs, needles stripped from the stems)
  • 3 small cans of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 -750 ml bottle of dry white wine (I used a California Pinot Grigio because that’s what I had)

Spray a large roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Lay the leg quarters in the bottom of the pan.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and the rosemary needles.  Open the mushroom cans and pour the juice from the mushrooms into the pan, being careful not to rinse off the seasonings from the chicken.  Pour the wine into the pan the same way.  Did I mention LARGE pan?

Cover the pan with heavy aluminum foil so that it’s steam-tight, and the top is sunk down…you want the vapors to condense back onto the chicken.  Put the pan into the oven and turn it on to 275 F.  Roast for 5 hours.

Remove from the oven.  Take out the chicken and set it aside to cool just enough to handle for deboning.  Discard the skin and bones.  Strain the stock and separate off the fat.  Set aside 2 cups.  Thicken the remainder with 1/2 cup flour.   Return the chicken and mushrooms to the thickened stock.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook rice or quinoa in the 2 cups stock to serve with the chicken.

Man, that is good.

Crockpot variation:

Use 1 whole cut-up chicken.  Cut the amount of wine in half and use only one can of mushrooms.

Cook on low for 10 hours or high for 6 hours.


The original, 1970s version of this recipe called for Sauterne cooking wine, which is salted.  If you use this, just eliminate the salt from the recipe and use a whole bottle of Sauterne.


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