Sunday, May 31, 2015

Cathy & the Cookbooks

It's been a busy and stressful month so I haven't been able to concentrate and try any new recipes.  That is about to change.

To look back over the past month, I must explain my absence.  Burnie was diagnosed with diabetes and was hospitalized.  While all that was going on, I had a preplanned trip which I was reluctant to cancel because my travel companion had just witnessed her little dog's being mauled and killed by a neighbor's German shepherd (which was immediately put down by its owner).  We spent a week traveling the Hallowed Ground from Gettysburg to Orange, Virginia.  More about that another day.

Anyway, I'm back.  Tonight I made baked chicken thighs and roasted fingerling potatoes from Mr. Sunday's Saturday Night Chicken by Lorraine Wallace and baked chicken thighs (my own creation) .  It was really easy.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. small and medium fingerling potatoes unpeeled
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon coarse salt

In a heavy skilled over medium high heat, warm the oil.  Add the potatoes to the skillet and toss or stir to coat with the oil.  Reduce the heat and cook, shaking the skillet occasionally to cook the potatoes evenly for 25 minutes.  Add the garlic, rosemary, thyme and salt, cover and cook until tender, about 10 minutes more.

That's all there is to it.  Finally potatoes that I like.  I've always felt that unless you were baking a potato, it was more work than it was worth.

It was delicious and I want to add that the rosemary and thyme came from my little container garden.  I harvested them myself.

So that I could get a serving of a vegetable, I added a romaine lettuce and cherry tomato salad with a little zesty Italian dressing.

And, of course, what dinner would be complete without a glass of wine.  Tonight I had Koenig Riesling from Alsace, also delicious.

I do think that I may need some new dishes, they don't photograph well and don't give the meal justice.  Either that or I'm a terrible photographer.  It must be the dishes, couldn't possibly be me.

Saturday, May 30, 2015


Hi, Burnie here.  Mom's been home from her trip for almost two weeks.  Do you think if I sleep in her suitcase, she'll stay home.?

I doubt it.

I've been home from the hospital for almost two weeks, but mom still insists on giving me a needle every day, TWICE  a day, whether I  need it or not.  It's not fair, Crash doesn't get it.  I try wiggling away from her, but she holds on so tight.  I get even though.  I insist on laying on the floor so she has to bend way down to give me a shot.  That makes her very uncomfortable.  It serves her right, that needle hurts.

I did find a good hiding place.  She has a big cabinet and I go behind it in the corner.  She can't fit.  Maybe she'll take the hint that I just don't like those needles.  We're going to see the doctor this week.  Maybe she'll say I don't need those needles anymore.  Toes crossed.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day

I just finished watching the Memorial Day Concert on PBS.  This year they paid tribute to the wounded and their fight for survival.

At the end of the concert, they always salute the various branches of the armed forces.  Current and former members of the various branches are invited to stand and join in singing the song of their particular branch.  Every year I'm impressed by the members of the Marine Corps.  No matter the age of the Marine, each one stands at full attention during their segment.  I guess the Marines really are special and as they say, "Once a Marine, always a Marine."

Thanks to all members of our armed forces, past and present.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hi, it's me Burnie.  I know it's not my usual day to write, but I wanted to bring you up to date on everything.  I know that Crash told you that I was in the hospital.  I'm home now, mom picked me up this morning.  Here are some pictures of me in the hospital checking out the visiting room.  Mom came to visit whenever she could, but she had a trip planned that she couldn't cancel.  I only stayed in the hospital two days after I started feeling better, so I wouldn't have been able to come home if mom had cancelled her trip.


It was an OK room, but sometimes when I was relaxing there would be loud noises that scared me.  It's a good thing that mom was visiting then.  They shaved some of my fur around my neck so they could give me my insulin.  They also shaved part of my leg.  It looks like they wanted to make me look like a poodle but changed their minds.  They were giving me some medicine into my leg and they wanted to keep part of the needle there so that put that thing around my neck.  It was so humiliating to wear AND it had a pink trim.  Don't they know that pink is for girls and I'm a boy.

Anyway, I'm home now.  I guess I'm feeling better because I was able to jump up onto the couch which I couldn't do two weeks ago., but there's no food anywhere.  Mom says that I have to be fed on a schedule.  I don't like that.  And Crash isn't too happy to see me.  She just stares and growls at me.  I guess she liked being the only cat for a week.  Sorry Crash, I'm baaaaack and planning on staying for a long time.

Saturday, May 9, 2015


Crash here.  Just want to fill you in on Burnie's latest adventure.

He's been limping very badly lately so mom decided he should visit the vet.  Of course, I would never need a vet.  Anyway, they checked out his blood and decided that he has diabetes.  He's also making some ketones (I never knew he made anything except a mess) so he went to the hospital so they can stop him from making those ketones.  I hope they do a better job at stopping him from making those ketones than mom does at getting him to stop bothering me.

It's so quiet here without Burnie around.  Mom says that he'll probably be in the hospital for a couple of days, so I get to eat all the food myself, because sometimes Burnie pushes me away from my dish and then eats my food.

Even though sometimes he scares me and I can't stand him, I really hope Burnie feels better and comes home soon.  Don't tell him I said this, but I really miss the old guy.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Burnie Here

Hi all, it's me Burnie.  Sorry I'm a little late writing today.  I'm not feeling up to par.  You see, I have a problem with my right hind leg.  I have had a limp for as long as I can remember, most days it isn't too bad, but the last few days, it really hurts.

Mom feels so bad for me that I've been getting lots and lots of attention.  Sometimes, she even carries me around the house.  She even gave me a heating pad to lay on, but sometimes it gets so hot I have to leave and go somewhere else.  I think it's working, I do feel a little better.

I've been getting so much attention lately that I think when I feel better, I'll keep limping.  Maybe mom will give me more treats.  What do you think?

Friday, May 1, 2015


The other day I wanted to make tuna fish, using "real" (not canned) tuna.  I knew I had a recipe for slow roasted tuna steak with some sort of salsa on top.  I looked all over for the book I thought it was in, Fast Food My Way by Jacques Pepin.  I couldn't find it anywhere and began to doubt my memory.  Had I just dreamed everything up?

I checked my Cookbook Inventory and found the name of the recipe, along with the book.  But, I still couldn't find the book.  I have several books by Jacques Pepin so I went through all of them in case he had repeated the recipe.  No luck.

I did find his The Shortcut Cook which had a recipe for tuna steak au poivre with cucumber sauce.  It sounded good and, surprisingly, I had all the ingredients on hand.  If you're interested, here it is:

1 cucumber
3/4 teaspoon sale
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/3 cup canola or safflower oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 cup water

Peel the cucumber and cut it in half length-wise and remove the seeds by scraping them out with a spoon.  Cut the cucumber half into pieces and place them in the bowl of a food processor or blender.  Add the remaining ingredients and process for a few seconds, until the mixture is chopped fine without being completely liquefied.  Transfer the sauce to a serving dish and set aside.

1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 teaspoons herbes de Provence (I used 1 teaspoon each of thyme and basil)
6 tuna steaks (I used 1)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil

Spread the peppercorns on a work surface and using a rolling pin or bottom of a heavy saucepan (I used a coffee grinder which I only use for spices) crush them.  Stir the herbes de Provence into the crushed peppercorns on the work surface and dip each steak into the mixture, coating them on both sides.  Sprinkle the steaks with the salt.

Heat 1 large or 2 medium size skillets until very hot.  Add the oil spreading it quickly to coat the bottom and add the steaks.  Cook 1 minute on each side.  Turn off the heat and allow the skillet(s) to remain on the stove, covered, to steam for 5 to 6 minutes.  Serve immediately with the cucumber sauce on the side.

I served this with Honeyed Carrots with Pepper which is also in The Shortcut Cook.  I'll post that recipe another time, don't want to make this post too long, it might bore you.

An odd thing happened while I was searching the book for a vegetable recipe, I found a five dollar bill neatly folded between the pages.  I have no idea how it got there, but it was a pleasant surprise.

I should have mentioned earlier that it was delicious and I definitely will make it again.  Of course, I served it with a glass of wine, Sauvignon Blanc. My theory is that when trying a new recipe, I must have a glass of wine.  That way, if the food does not turn out well, at least I can enjoy the wine.