In My Kitchen ~ March 2021

In My Kitchen… the only new thing I’ve acquired lately is a potholder. I liked it’s cheerful colors — and more importantly, its message. Hope it brings joy to you, too!

Gratitude is up to us. Blessings, not so much. Wherever and however they’re dispensed is beyond our control, but I’m thankful for each and every one of them — even something as unexpected as a potholder at the Dollar General store in their clearance aisle section. Kitchen “cheerleaders” are welcome anytime. Bonus points for the bargain price.

If you’re in need of a lil’ cheering up too, please visit my friend Sherry MacKay at http://sherryspickings.blogspot.com/2021/03/in-my-kitchen-march-2021.html for more blessings from around the world. Her In My Kitchen posts and those from her participants (via easy access links) continue to tickle my fancy, even when I don’t participate regularly. Plus, they’re just plain fun! Lots of good ideas, great writing, photos, recipes, and more. Just click on her link above. Thanks, Sherry and all y’all!

In My Kitchen… I haven’t been very “vocal” lately — not because I don’t have anything to say, but because my simple lifestyle seems almost too good to believe mid-pandemic. (That, or it’s incredibly boring!) Still, I’m grateful for blessings like the ones above — Jammy Eggs for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Apparently, they were a foodie phenomenon a few years back, but I only recently discovered them. Faster than poached eggs with less clean up, they live up to their name in ten minutes or less. The recipe? Bring an inch of water to a boil in a saucepan, carefully add eggs in the shell, cover, and simmer for seven minutes. (More or less, depending on your yolk preference.) Cool under cold running water, peel, and eat. Easy, peasy.

And then there’s this…

In My Kitchen… is Pasta with Broccoli and Goat Cheese. (Pine nuts, too — oh my!) During the past few months (year?!) of my pandemic hibernation, I’ve been reading through my cookbook collection again. What a blessing to see how many recipes I’d tagged, flagged, or Post-It noted for future reference, intending to make them “some day.” Why not now? Here ’tis…

Pasta with Broccoli and Goat Cheese (adapted from Wolfgang Puck’s recipe)

1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. pine nuts

1-1/2 cups good quality chicken stock, store-bought or homemade (I used homemade)

1/2 lb. tiny broccoli florets, cut from the crowns (frozen “steamer” style works in a pinch)

1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, plus sprigs for garnish (dried ground thyme works, too)

Freshly ground black pepper (always in stock…)

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter (which I left it out due to dairy allergies… but have at it!)

4 oz. goat cheese such as Chevre’, crumbled (all our grocery store had was crumbled)

Kosher salt

12 oz. spaghetinni, angel hair, or other thin dried pasta strands (I used rice noodles)

  1. Fill a large pot with water and add 1 tsp. EVOO. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in a skillet over low heat, stirring constantly until light golden (2-3 minutes); transfer to a bowl to cool.
  2. Bring stock to a boil. Reduce by half (12-15 minutes); set aside.
  3. Heat a large saute’ pan or skillet over medium-high heat, add remaining Tbsp. of EVOO, and broccoli florets. (If using the “steamable” kind, nuke as directed, cool, and drain before adding to skillet — I’ve used both with equal success.) Saute’ for a minute until bright green and crispy. Add reduced stock and bring to a boil. Add thyme, pepper to taste, butter, and goat cheese. Whisk or stir until cheese melts. Taste and salt to taste. Remove from heat, cover, and keep warm.
  4. Add a Tbsp. of Kosher salt to the boiling water before adding the pasta. Cook until al dente per package directions. Drain and add to the pan of sauce. Toss with a pair of tongs to distribute sauce and broccoli evenly. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Plate, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts, garnish with fresh thyme (if using), and ENJOY!

Seriously, it was soooo good I’ve made it three times so far...

In My Kitchen… or just outside, we had an ice storm — typical of Oklahoma this time of year — followed by 10-inches of snow. (NOT typical for Oklahoma.) While I enjoyed the winter wonderland, it meant not being able to drive up “The Hill” for another two weeks. Thank goodness for the blessings of being prepared and being content to be stuck at the bottom once again. I really didn’t mind — especially with such good food.

Make the most of your pantry when life presents obstacles. Re-read a cookbook or two, and/or get creative in your kitchen. Above all, be grateful for your many blessings. They’re everywhere you look.

Even on clearance sale racks.

In My Kitchen… is another potholder I couldn’t resist buying. (It matched my kitchen.) But, ’nuff said. Have a good day — no, a GREAT day! Praying you’re safe and well, xo.

Enjoying unexpected blessings,

~ Kim

More Miracles (aka Hummingbirds)

My hubby seems to have a knack for taking pics of the local flora and fauna, as I may have mentioned earlier.

This particular hummingbird variety remains unidentified, but there it was when I uploaded photos on my camera. (FYI, TMOFW tends not to “tell me” until later or I ask him about them.)

Talk about humility.

A few more “blurs” he managed to capture as it was coming and going…

(Again without a tripod.)

I hope his steady handiwork brings JOY to your day. It did mine!

Enjoying the unexpected and TMOFW as always,
~ Kim

In My Kitchen ~ December 2018


In My Kitchen… I’ve been conducting an experiment. I discovered a bottle stopper online that claimed to keep champagne and/or Proscecco “bubbly” for up to three days. With New Year’s Eve coming up ‘n’ all, I was curious… and it works. Plenty of fizz left on Day 3! Thanks, Pampered Chef.

In My Kitchen… these wine charms are a nostalgic reminder of my late sister. I gave them to her years ago and they were “gifted” back to me. Can’t help but smile every time I use them. Pick a color, any color. She was as colorful and charming as they are, plus you keep your glasses straight. :) 

In My Kitchen… is a beautiful hand-painted English plate that I discovered at our church thrift store. I never know what I’m going to find there and this one was a keeper, especially since I’m a tad shy on “decorative” serving pieces yet. What to  serve on it? Stuffed mushrooms? Scotch eggs? (Post coming soon.) Any or all holiday appetizers? We don’t get much company at the lake, but some of The Man of Few Word’s family members will be arriving to celebrate New Year’s Eve with us and I’m excited about their upcoming visit. Time to break out the “good” dishes. Why wait?

Bonus points for this one-of-a-kind bowl (also found at the thrift store) now In My Kitchen. Made in the German Democratic Republic and signed in gold on the bottom, I couldn’t resist such exquisite craftsmanship.

In My Kitchen… is this Romertopf clay baker. I’ve always wanted one — as opposed to needing one — but a friend cleaned out her kitchen cupboards and let me have first pick and I’m feeling blessed.

Over the years I’ve been SO privileged to participate In My Kitchen. In recent years in some months that’s all I’ve managed to post! First begun by Celia and later continued by MaureenLiz, and now Sherry of Sherry’s Pickings (click on Sherry’s link for the latest), these lovely ladies have put a LOT of effort into forming and promoting  worldwide friendships through our mutual love of cooking. Thank you all and Happy Holidays, xo! 

Enjoying life In My Kitchen and YOU,

~ Kim

Flowergram X

 

 

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Though it’s not official for a few days, Spring has sprung here.

Plants and trees are bursting into bloom anxious to begin the next Season.

I don’t mind the head start either. Feels like I’ve been hibernating all winter and it’s time to poke my head out again. Hello!

Wherever you are and whatever the season, relish forward moving change.

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Enjoying a Spring-like day at the lake,

~ Kim

Hamburger Steaks with Mushroom and Red Onion Gravy (Comfort Food III)

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I’ve been making hamburger steaks forever. (Okay, decades…) Though not quite as “steak-ish” as the name implies, they’re still a step up from regular ol’ hamburgers. With a few extra seasonings and larger-than-burger-size patties (generally oval-shaped) smothered in rich brown gravy, what can I say? It’s comfort food!

And, they look like I worked harder and longer in the kitchen than I actually did. ;)

This week I decided to doll up the ol’ standby by adding mushrooms and red onions to my usual gravy — a happy compromise between TMOFW’s “basic” preferences and mine-all-over-the-map.

Hamburger Steak with Mushroom & Onion Gravy

Hamburger Steaks with Mushroom & Red Onion Gravy

1 lb. ground chuck

1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 small lemon)

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 to 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

3 to 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (sometimes I use rendered bacon fat…)

8 oz. whole button mushrooms

1/2 red onion, peeled

1 c. beef stock (I used homemade)

2 Tbsp. cornstarch mixed with 1/4 c. cold water

Salt & pepper to taste

Rosemary sprigs and several reserved browned mushrooms for garnish

In a large bowl combine ground chuck, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and garlic. (Feel free to add any other seasonings if desired at this point — oregano, Herbs de Provence, marjoram, etc.) Mix lightly with your hands and form into three oval “steaks.” Set aside to rest on a plate.

Meanwhile wipe mushrooms with a damp paper towel, trim the stems, and slice into 1/4-inch slices. Quarter the onion and slice likewise.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat add 2 tablespoons olive oil or bacon fat. (I’ve been known to add a lil’ butter on occasion, too.) When oil is shimmering, add about half the mushrooms — don’t crowd in too many or they’ll steam rather than brown — and sauté until golden on one side. Flip over with tongs and brown the other side. (Regulate heat as needed.)

Remove browned mushrooms to a bowl, reserving several for garnish. Add more oil to the skillet as needed and repeat until all mushrooms are browned.

In the same skillet, add the red onion slices (and more oil) and sauté until softened. Remove onions to a bowl. (I just throw ’em on top of the mushrooms.)

Now sear the hamburger steaks (same skillet) until well-browned on both sides. They don’t need to be cooked-through at this point, just browned. Transfer to a plate again while you make the gravy.

Deglaze the skillet by slowly pouring in the beef stock and scraping the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon. (Flavor!) Bring to a boil and slowly whisk in your cornstarch slurry. (You may not use all of it — add a lil’ at a time until “gravy” consistency is reached.) Reduce heat to medium and cook for several minutes.

Stir in mushrooms and onions; season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low and place seared hamburger steaks on top; cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, basting “steaks” occasionally with the gravy.

Note: The gravy will be as flavorful (and seasoned) as your stock. Add salt and pepper judiciously. If subbing beef bouillon or canned beef broth, you might want to omit the salt altogether. (Taste as you go.)

Normally I serve these with mashed potatoes, but The Man Of Few Words took one look at all the mushrooms and said there were enough vegetables for this meal. :)

Garnish at will.

I’m ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille…

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For more Comfort Food (and recipes to boot), click here and here.

Enjoying comforting dinners,

~ Kim