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Kleen Queen (Green)

July 27th, 2015

KleenQueen2After the flood of 2015, I had some serious kleening up to do. Unwilling to spend a week inhaling Lysol fumes, I knew I would have to consult with  the Great Counselor Of All Things for advice on a kleening product that would not kill me due to overdose of some noxious chemical.

The G. C. O. A. T. (okay, Google) pointed me in the direction of a recipe from Real Simple magazine for an all-purpose spray cleaner that you could almost drink (if you happened to have a taste for rubbing alcohol and vinegar.) It left my surfaces smelling like something much lovelier than backed up plumbing and clean as a whistle. (I have never understood that expression. Since when is a whistle clean? All those people blowing on it all the time? Please. P.S. Am I turning into Howard Hughes?)

Anyway, try this in your flooded or not-so-flooded living quarters and I guarantee you will be pleased with the result and will not keel over from chemical fumes. I actually would not drink it unless you are on a desert island and choices are limited.

Kleen Queen (Green) All-Purpose Cleaner

4 cups water

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup rubbing alcohol

10 drops peppermint essential oil

 

Combine the ingredients and pour into a spray bottle. Kleen everything, then drink a martini and take a load off.

 

 

EVO And Yogurt Cake (Comfort Food)

July 21st, 2015

 

EVOCake2After the Great Flood of ’15—well, it was considered Great in my house, when a veritable toilet tsunami decimated a sizeable area of my once gracious living quarters—I felt the need for comfort food. After some dreary exchanges with insurance types and remediation contactors, my thoughts turned to Dorie Greenspan’s EVO And Yogurt Cake. It seemed like a must.

Not only is it comforting in a way that only something densely vanilla can be, but it happens to be stunningly easy to make, which gives it singular appeal right at this moment when I feel I can only address small tasks, having addressed too many big ones already today.

Whether or not you ever have a Great Flood in your house—you can read more about mine here—keep this recipe on hand for other current or future comfort needs. It works.

You can find it here, but roughly, it goes like this:

 

DORIE GREENSPAN’S EVO AND YOGURT CAKE

Preheat the oven to 350º. Butter a loaf pan.

Combine 1 ½ cup flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder and a pinch of salt.

In another bowl, place 1 cup sugar and the zest of one lime (although I used orange.) Rub the sugar and zest together with your fingers until the sugar is fragrant. Then mix in ½ cup plain whole ilk yogurt, 3 eggs and ¼ teaspoon of vanilla until smooth. Then fold in ½ cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil).

Pour batter into the pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, until golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Eat your troubles away.

 

Sunday Hash

June 6th, 2015

I am currently in a cooking rut.

This happens occasionally. I cook something new that accommodates the tastes of my diners, decide I like it very much, and then, too lazy to come up with a fresh idea that caters to everybody’s extreme pickiness, I repeat the recipe until I feel like I am in the movie, Groundhog day and change is essential. I just completed such a cycle with Sunday Hash. Read More

 

PTSD (Peas Trigger Scott’s Distemper)

May 31st, 2015

Birdseye2A few weeks ago I got an email from my bother-in-law Scott who was in a highly agitated state. He told me he had been the victim of fraud perpetrated by the Bird’s Eye Company. Read More

 

Mom’s Short Ribs (aka Stringy Meat)

May 7th, 2015

MOM at 95 3_4 When my siblings and I were growing up, my mother was a miraculous cook—every night she procured dinner for eight people. Among our favorite meals was what we called “stringy meat,” which was any kind of meat that was cooked long and slow until it was a fork-tender, pull-apart, deliciously stringy thing. Read More

 

Spicy Chicken Tacos

April 28th, 2015

photoThe good thing about this recipe is you can make most of the components in advance and then just throw your tacos together in fifteen minutes, which allows you time to relax and watch the PBS News Hour while you dine. Read More

 

Scenic Salad With Lime Basil Dressing

April 20th, 2015

photoThis salad is what happened on Saturday night when I was cleaning out my vegetable drawer. If you had something re thrilling to do that evening, you probably have a better life coach than I do. Read More

 

CCC’s Twisted Sister

April 9th, 2015

CCCsBrownButterYou’ve eaten too many chocolate chip cookies in your lifetime. In the last year alone, you have had enough of them to satisfy the dessert needs of an entire state, say, Indiana, for a week. And that includes the catering of several gay weddings. Read More

 

Italian (Shotgun) Wedding Soup

March 19th, 2015

ItalianWeddingSoupI am assuming that Italian Wedding Soup was so named due to its popularity at Italian weddings. I’d like to posit that, because of its ease of preparation, the soup is especially suitable for a shotgun wedding, when celebratory food is needed in a big fat hurry. Read More

 

The Chocolate Wars

February 16th, 2015

ChocolatePoundCake2015I always have trouble when I have to make a choice between too many good options. This applies whether I am selecting a paint color for my dining room, or a pair of black sandals, or a recipe for a chocolate dessert. In a paroxysm of indecision, I will bring home seven paint samples from Benjamin Moore, buy four pairs of sandals at Bloomingdale’s, and make two desserts instead of one. Read More

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