Just tried to re-post a “blast from the past” since I don’t have anything new to report these days. (Blame it on Covid-19 and contentment.) I know WordPress offers a way to do that, but I haven’t figured out how yet. So, I’m teasing you with a photo of Old Boy (our Great Blue Heron) and hoping you’ll click on the following link to see what I’m up to. Some things never change, including ongoing friendships.
If you’re feeling so inclined, please look up my other Rhapsody in Blue posts in the sidebar under “search.” Can’t believe it’s been that long since I wrote them, but Life On The Lake has stayed pretty much the same. Feelingblessed!
So, how are YOU doing during the pandemic? What are your greatest challenges so far? What’s been your greatest solace? (Please share.)
Other than cooking, cleaning, and keeping myself amused — reading is a HUGE plus — I’ve been hanging out and enjoying whatever God and Nature have to offer. How about you? Are you okay? I care about YOU!
Hoping this lil’ bit of PEACE was a bright spot in your day.
They said there were walleye in our lake and we’ve tried every tactic known to man to catch one, to no avail.
Then one morning The Man Of Few Words ran up to the house as excited as a schoolboy passing his first love note.
In a way, it was.
“Kim! I caught a walleye!” (He knows it’s my favorite fish.)
I’ve watched him hurry up from shore to show me his latest large mouth bass from time to time, but that morning his demeanor was different. Proud, but humble. Excited, yet reverent. I love that about him.
I immediately started planning dinner.
Butter Poached Walleye Almondine
1 pkg. slivered almonds
4 Tbsp. clarified butter or ghee
Walleye fillets, rinsed and patted dry
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Lemon slices for garnish
Parsley for garnish (optional)
In a skillet over medium heat, toast almonds until fragrant and lightly browned. Watch closely and stir frequently so they don’t burn. Set aside on paper towels.
Melt butter or ghee in another skillet over medium heat. (I have induction skillets so I start them on low and increase the heat gradually.)
Add walleye fillets and saute’ 3 to 5 minutes depending on their thickness. As the underside cooks, tip skillet and spoon melted butter over top to “poach” the fillets. Flip them over and repeat poaching process.
Add toasted almonds around perimeter of skillet and give them a stir to coat with butter. Season with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
When the fillets flake easily with a fork, plate up and enjoy!
plate ’em up (patriotically, if you’re so inclined) and ENJOY!
Many thanks to those past & present who gave us the freedom to do so, xo.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Last night we kicked off the weekend with an outdoor gathering on our neighbors’ deck — the first time we’d “partied” since the pandemic started. Social distancing, storytelling, and smiling resulted, not to mention satisfied bellies. Besides quiche and mini-meatballs, our hostess served a swoon-worthy penne pasta with grilled chicken drenched in a vodka cream tomato sauce. Can we say holiday happiness?
The Man Of Few Words only lasted an hour, having forewarned me his bedtime was 7:00 o’clock. (He’s on “trucker time” never mind holiday weekends or invitations.)
I stayed until 10:00!
What a treat to visit with neighbors once again, watch fireworks around the lake, and sip a cocktail or two with friends. After I walked home I bid TMOFW a silent “goodnight kiss” and sat on our deck to watch more fireworks, fireflies, and an almost-full moon for another hour. Blessings!
This morning told a different story…
Our fishing trip at the crack of dawn (never mind what time I went to bed…) was cancelled by unexpected/unpredicted thunderstorms. Lightning flashed, thunder rumbled, and waves/whitecaps kicked up, thus preventing us from reeling in potential lunkers. (Oh well!) We needed the rain.
Plan B: We enjoyed coffee on the deck between lightning bolts, I made him breakfast (bacon, eggs, & fried potatoes), put the finishing touches on my prelude for tomorrow morning’s church service (SO blessed to “work” from home), and weeded the railroad ties by our driveway. Sometimes you just have to roll with it.
Speaking of “rolling with it”…
Here’s the recipe for my quiche. It was gone faster than a lightning bolt.
Kim’s Quiche Lorraine
1 (9″) unbaked pie shell (see recipe below)
6 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
1 c. grated Swiss cheese
4 eggs, beaten
2 c. half & half (light cream)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
Dash of hot sauce (Frank’s Red Hot or Louisiana)
Freshly grated nutmeg (garnish)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Arrange crumbled bacon and Swiss cheese in an unbaked pie shell.
Beat eggs, half & half, and seasonings; pour into pie shell.Sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees. Bake for 30 more minutes and do the “jiggle” test. You’ll “see” when it’s set; if in doubt, insert a knife into the center. If it comes out clean, it’s done.
Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut into wedges to serve.
My Tried and True (with FAB reviews) Pie Crust
1-1/3 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. Crisco (plain, not butter-flavored)
2 Tbsp. cold milk
Stir together flour and salt.Cut in Crisco with two butter knives until pea-sized crumbs form. Continue with a pastry blender until small crumbs form.Sprinkle milk over the top; blend with a fork until the pastry forms a ball.
NOTE: You may have to add more (or less) milk depending on the humidity — your hands are the best judge. Don’t be afraid to squish it together with your fingers! I frequently abandon the fork and rely on the “hands-on” method.
Form the dough into a disk, place between two sheets of waxed paper (no clean up — easy peasy!), and roll into a circle. The thickness will depend on what you’re baking — thinner for quiche; thicker for a meat pie/pierogie.
Peel off top side of waxed paper and center crust over pie plate. “Ease” it into the plate, trim the excess crust with a paring knife, and crimp edges. Proceed per the recipe above. (Double recipe for a two-crust pie.)
FYI, the leftover pie crust trimmings make fabulous “pie crust cookies” spinkled with a lil’ sugar and cinnamon, or cobbler topping or mini-pies.
What a wonderful weekend it’s been so far! Wishing you the same. Be safe and share when you can.
Oops… the next monsoon is about to start (this one was predicted) so I better hit “publish” before my internet shuts down. Take care.
Enjoying socializing, cooking, writing, and baking again,
Today I looked in the fridge, saw a little bit of this and a little bit of that (leftover from the weekend) and recalled the song “Anatevka” from Fiddler On The Roof.
As I was doing research to make sure I remembered the lyrics right, I discovered a song with a similar phrase: “Little Bit of This, Little Bit of That” by Canadian singer-songwriter Carolyn Dawn Johnson. (Excellent tune — look it up on YouTube.) Oh, the things we do to write a credible blog post…
While I poked around online, I also learned that Miss Johnson sang (sings…?) background vocals for country superstar Miranda Lambert, who happens to be The Man Of Few Word’s favorite singer — if/when he listens to the radio. Talk about a triple play day. (Heavy emphasis on PLAY. )
It’s “Complicated.” :)
Above are the results: garden fresh tomatoes topped with potato salad and a sprinkle of paprika, a “BLT” minus the toast, and my ham salad garnished with a sweet pickle — all on a pretty plate, of course. It’s a party!
Music speaks to my soul and inspires my cooking. How ’bout you?
Prior to last month’s shelter-in-place orders going into effect (aka: lockdowns, quarantines, or stay-at-home mandates re: Covid-19) I visited a lovely local shop and picked up several notepads for future gift giving. Not only did they offer upbeat sayings, they included a color-coordinated spatula. (Some folks call them “scrapers” — in this case a mini-scraper — but I still call them “spatulas” no matter what size.) Figured they’d come in handy for ekeing out the last of whatever folks were trying to use and was cheered by the postive message. Apologies to whoever coined the logo above; I’ve seen it a number of times so I figured it was “public domain.” May you reap your reward in heaven for such an uplifting thought! Thank you.
Little did I know how important that phrase would become in the coming months. These days we’re all trying to reduce/re-use/recycle bits and bobs at the bottom of the bottles lurking on our fridge shelves. Truthfully, they’ve escalated to even more importance than we ever could’ve imagined. One more ounce of flavor = another meal. For those suffering from food shortages, my prayers are with you. I feel entirely blessed to have enough (so far) and the means to splurge now and then. I also continue to donate to our local food shelf and I hope other folks do, too.
Mother’s Day came and went. My annual tradition usually includes making something with lobster (don’t I wish?) but it wasn’t meant to be this year. Frozen shrimp was the only seafood alternative. (Does anyone else dread going to the grocery store until absolutely neccesary like I do?) Still, I was overjoyed that they carried some sort of crustacean. I also had a recipe in mind…
Spicy Grilled Shrimp
(adapted from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything)
1 large clove garlic (I used 1 tsp. refrigerated minced garlic)
1 T. Kosher salt (his recipe specified “coarse salt”)
1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
1/2 tsp. hot paprika
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice
15 to 20 medium-sized shrimp, peeled & deveined with tails intact (I used the frozen/thawed equivalent)
Mince garlic with salt until fine. Add both paprikas and blend well.
Stir in lemon juice and EVOO to make a paste. (I transferred the above to a bowl before making the paste.)
Add shrimp; mix gently to coat thoroughly.
Allow to marinate for a few minutes or up to 1 hour.
Preheat grill (or broiler) to high. Place shrimp skewers as close as possible to heat source.
Grill (or broil) 2-3 minutes per side or until shrimp are pink.
Serve immediately with lemon wedges.
I added two skewers of veggies, too — mushrooms, onions, and grape tomatoes — before I tossed the shrimp on the grill (shown slightly “charbroiled” above by the time I got to ’em) but they were a delightful addition to my holiday meal. Bonus points for “Chili Lime Fish En Papillote.” (No recipe… just sprinkle fish filets with extra virgin olive oil, S & P, chili powder, and freshly-squeezed lime juice wrapped in foil.) YUM! The rest of the shrimp and veggies are headed for a batch of Jambalaya tonight along with some rice, smoked sausage, and chicken from my freezer. Reduce/reuse/recycle. And, do more of what makes you happy!
For me that involves cooking (or grilling) by the seat of my pants, letting nothing go to waste, watching Jeopardy (even the re-runs lol), reading books, practicing the piano, going outside to snap a photo now and then, writing letters, keeping “the castle” clean for TMOFW, and hopefully posting an upbeat message whenever I’m so inclined.
Be safe and well, my friends, xo.
Enjoying present-day life despite the ongoing restrictions,
Did I mention dancing?! What makes YOU happy these days?