Veterans’ Day

Mac & I met in Louisiana while he was serving in the U.S. Army. We moved to California to help his grandparents with a hope of serving at Fort Irwin. As the military was downsizing at the time, they gave him an honorable discharge so we could  move out here where we still are today.  So on this Veteran’s Day I would like to thank all veterans for their sacrifice and dedication. Please join me!

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Decorating Started

I have been slowly decorating inside the house.  Here is a couple of pictures of the bathroom. You will notice that the main colors (yellow, rust, gray & white) are still there but accented with black, purple and orange.

 

Next to the kitchen. I don’t like the way the valance is hanging so I’m trying to decide on either a curtain rod or maybe just a better piece of twine.

Here are my pot holders.

And just to make you feel welcome:

Halloween Decorations

Last week I said I would start decorating next week.  Well it is next week. Yesterday we took all the plastic bins out of the shop and brought them to the house. We have 5 bins and some jumbo eyes still in the box.

We also have one bin with costumes. I guess I have had this bin too long as it has a crack down the side. I will be going through all these costumes and decorations to decide what I will be hanging and what I will be selling or throwing away.

World Egg Day – Friday the 13th

Here is the perfect recipe for this World Egg Day on Friday the 13th: Spicy Southwestern Deviled Eggs.

12 hard-boil eggs
¼ c. plain Greek yogurt
¼ c. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. Minced shallot
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. White-wine vinegar
¼ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Pepper
2 Tbsp. Chopped chipotle peppers in adobo
2 Tbsp. Chopped canned green chilis
24 fresh cilantro leaves

Peel hard-boiled eggs and halve lengthwise. Transfer yolks to a food processor and add remaining ingredients except the cilantro. Process until smooth. Spoon or pipe about 1 tablespoon of the filling into each egg half. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Gumbo Day

 

Recently I have been in the mood for Louisiana style food. I made Jambalaya last week and made gumbo last night to celebrate Gumbo Day. It turned out great. This is probably the second time that the gumbo turned out perfect. The secret ingredient for gumbo is file which is Sassafras. Like any spice, file looses some flavor after it is opened. That being said. I have found that using more of the spice when it is older will give it the flavor you want.

 

To make my gumbo, I first boiled chicken thighs for about 40 minutes. Once the chicken is done, I took it out to cool and poured the broth into a bowl so I could start the “Holy Trinity”. That’s a term for onions, bell peppers, and celery in Louisiana cooking. Pour some oil in the bottom of the pan and add your vegetables. Cook them until they are just starting to soften. 

I started the roux with a half inch of oil in the bottom of a cast iron skillet and put in a tablespoon of Guar Gum for each 4 tablespoons of almond flour until the roux is thick. At this point, I added salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and file. I know most people don’t add flavoring to their roux, but I find that it enhances the flavor of the gumbo. You will need to watch your roux while it’s cooking to make sure it doesn’t burn. It will begin getting brown on the bottom so when you stir it the roux gets darker. For a chicken and sausage gumbo, I like a darker roux. If I was doing a shrimp gumbo, I would make it a little lighter in color.

Now that all the components are ready, we pour the broth back into the pan with the vegetables and bring it to a boil. Once it starts to boil, start spooning in the roux until you get the consistency you like. I like my gumbo thick but not as thick as a gravy. Once you get the broth thickened to your preference, add in shredded chicken and sliced sausage. Season with salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and File to taste. Voila! Delicious, rich and creamy gumbo.

Ham & Spinach Dip

Whether you are having a Halloween or New Years Eve party or looking for a great appetizer for Thanksgiving or Christmas this Ham & Spinach Dip from
Everyday Food is very tasty.

2 Tbsp. Unsalted butter
½ c. onion, finely chopped
¼ c. Almond flour
2 tsp. Arrowroot
1 ½ c. whole milk, at room temperature
¼ tsp. Paprika, plus more for sprinkling
½ c. Black Forest Ham, finely chopped
1 ¼ c. Harvarti cheese, grated
10 oz. Box frozen spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
Freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add flour and arrowroot and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Add milk and whisk until mixture has thickened, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in paprika, ham, ¾ c. cheese and spinach. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer mixture to a 1-quart baking dish. Top with remaining ½ cup cheese and sprinkle lightly with more paprika. Bake 10 minutes. Adjust oven to broil; broil until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes and serve.

End of Oktoberfest

It seems I missed Oktoberfest that happens in Germany every year. However, I believe there are quite a few local festivals happening throughout the month. Has anyone been to a local Oktoberfest? I can’t remember going to one locally. I did make it to the original Oktoberfest when I was in Germany  in the 80’s or 90’s. It was amazing all the food and beer.

Keeping with the season I would like to share another recipe that I posted many years ago: Maggot Stew with Brain Dip. When I originally made this recipe I was not on the ketogenic diet. I believe this could still be keto friendly by changing cauliflower rice for the orzo past.  The stew is tasty and can be a great entree for any Halloween inspired meal. The Brain Dip is a great appetizer. Give them a try this Halloween Season.