Fun Stuff

 

Life’s been in a bit of a lull lately (blessedly and gratefully so) and inspiration oft arrives when and where you least expect it.

This morning as I sat outside with my clipboard on my lap awaiting profound thoughts ;) I sipped on a cup of java listening to birdsong. I also had to grin at my “Crocs and sox” — me ‘n’ Mario Batali, woohoo!

Yup, I finally traded in my cowboy boots. (I do keep a pair at the ready for snake season… a different kind of “fun”… gotta love life at the lake.) Praise God for comfortable footwear and amenable places to “think thoughts.” Here’s the view I was contemplating.

The View

Speaking of “The View” (as seen on TV), its foodie counterpart is The Chew . I’m not a regular TV-watcher, but I do brake for cooking shows now and then.

A thousand pardons… I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Michael Symon. I’ve long admired him (his 1,000 mega-watt grin continues to light up my life) and the banter between him, Mario, and their affable cohorts — not to mention their incredible edible inspirations — are such fun!

Meanwhile, back outside…

My flower beds are finally weeded and the wildflower seeds are planted. Does anyone know what that vine is? I tend to err on the side of “purdy” vs. horticultural, thankfully without a rash so far. (Please let me know if it’s a weed!)

Other fun stuff: music and food.

I’m sorting through a plethora of recipes and regulating music rehearsals as we speak. These days I have to meter out my time and attention span. Balance is key.

Food and Music

Oopsie daisies! (Don’tcha love that line by Hugh Grant in Notting Hill?) I nearly forgot to include food photos. I’ve also been known to sputter similar meaningless aphorisms… “holy cow”, “what a hoot”, and “that’s hilarious.” C’est la vie! Never hesitate to express yourself, even if it sounds silly… make that fun. Your thoughts matter! I love ’em  all.

And you!

Enjoying a lil’ fun at the lake,

~ Kim

In My Kitchen ~ February 2017

gather

In My Kitchen is the bamboo cutting board featured in this post. (This is the Full Monty, tee hee.) It’s turned out to be quite indispensable, for everything from last-minute herb chopping to slicing & zesting citrus, and more. Functional and FUN — and easy clean-up. Thanks again, Ally, xo!

Truthfully, I thought my kitchen was “stocked”. Or, maybe that’s the mindset I adopted out of necessity these past several years? I’m open to surprises! You never know when one gadget might make your life easier or cooking more inspired.

Thanks, IMK friends and dear friends for SO many innovations and ideas, xo.

funnel-2

In My Kitchen… is a Farberware funnel that matches my “accent” color.

Although I’m not entirely wild about plastic (I miss the beat-up metal funnel I had), the head space indicator has been convenient for measuring homemade stock… beef, pork, chicken, veggie, and shrimp… whatever’s simmering or freezer-bound for future meals. Plus, it’s dish-washer safe. Ditto on easy clean-up.

BTW, I love these “quilted” half-pint jars, too — an ongoing gift from my sister.

rolling-pin-art

In My Kitchen… is a marvelous marble rolling pin with an assortment of table linens (another gift from my aforementioned friend, Ally.) After trying to roll out holiday pie crusts with my wimpy wooden rolling pin, acquired in a hurry (“big box” store shall remain nameless), I informed The Man Of Few Words that I REALLY needed a more substantial one. Frankly, the other one couldn’t put a dent in a ping pong ball! His reply? “Get what you need.” (Gotta love that man.)

Hold out for what you NEED. Be patient, no need to rush things! (You’re clever enough to make do in the meantime.) The right tool will come along when it’s supposed to, and it’ll bless you — and others — if you don’t settle. (Go with your gut… you’ll know “when .”)

Lo and behold TMOFW’s sister & I visited an antique shop a few days afterwards. The first thing I spied when we walked in the door was this green and white marble beauty — with a “stand” no less — for a mere pittance, I might add. Some things are meant to be. YAY!

crystal-contrast-2

In My Kitchen… are two pieces of pressed-glassware with 100+ years of history.

The one in the front held many a pickle, deviled egg, and/or piece of Divinity or Penuche; the one behind housed myriad side dishes. Grandma’s, then Mom’s, now mine.

The “snowflake” design is reminiscent of my home state of Minnesota, but honestly I enjoy serving from them much more In My Kitchen in sunny, WARM Oklahoma. ;)

In My Kitchen… are a few dishes I tried during my “neck problem” phase. (Almost over.)

Great news! Went to the neurosurgeon on Monday; no surgery or injections needed, just continued chiropractic care and EXERCISE…. here’s to a buff 2017. (Hallelujah!)

Working out carefully is worth the effort, especially when there’s a good meal at the end o’ the day — or another spectacular sunset. Worth the wait! (As are the right tools.)

sunset-silhouettes

The glimpses above into my world and kitchen are courtesy of Liz Posmik as she resumes hostessing In My Kitchen following a hiatus during the “busy” season.

Check out the worldwide posts on her sidebar for further inspiration — or add your own by the 10th. Good times!

Enjoying every blessing In My Kitchen and otherwise — YOURS especially,

~ Kim

In My Kitchen ~ July 2014

Lox & Bagel Pizza 2

(Kindly hover for the hocus pocus ;)

In My Kitchen… is Lox & ‘Bagel’ Pizza.

This lil’ combo was a rainy day project, and a mighty tasty one, too. (Recipe follows.)

I was craving smoked salmon (when am I not?!) and when it rains my oven is on!

In My Kitchen… is fresh tomato pasta sauce.

With a smidge of fresh basil and oregano, a few cloves of garlic, a grind of the pepper mill and a pinch of sea salt, standing over the stove soon leads to sauce-dom!

But when the sun is shining…

In My Kitchen… I’m nowhere to be found.

Our dear friends brought over a mouth-watering shrimp boil and I ‘filled in’ the rest — salad greens & homemade Ranch dressing with a kick (thank you, Colleen!), Tandoori chicken skewers (thanks, Dennis!), a delectable dipping oil with focaccia, my beloved olives ;) and the quintessential dessert: chocolate chip cookies. A picnic table repast!

By the way, I did discover a couple of ‘finds’ since the last IMK. Look closely and you’ll see a glorious lil’ copper pot doubling as a serving tray for the aforementioned cookies, plus a pair of rustic-looking placemats in the first photo. Long live thrift stores!

Okay, here’s that pizza recipe…

Lox & Bagel Pizza

1 (7.5 oz.) gluten free pizza crust mix, prepared per pkg. instructions
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. light cream
2 oz. freshly grated Parmesan
1 small fresh tomato, thinly sliced
1/2 small Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
Toppings:
Smoked salmon
Capers
Green onions with tops, sliced diagonally
Fresh basil, cut ala chiffonade (ribbons)

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Make pizza crust as directed (or not — I subbed Feta cheese for the recommended grated Cheddar.) Press dough onto an ungreased baking sheet to form a thin crust with slightly raised edges.

Mix cream cheese and cream until smooth; spread over crust. Top with tomato and onion slices. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake 13-15 minutes.

Top with smoked salmon, capers, green onions, and basil. Eat!

In My Kitchen is a monthly event cordially hostessed by Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. Please see the links in her sidebar and do pop in to say hello — kitchens from around the world are at your fingertips!

Enjoying summer fun in my kitchen — & out,

~ Kim

© 2014 Kim Bultman and a little lunch

Random Playfulness

Time To Play

I won’t bore you with further details of my recently all-too-busy-life (insert maniacal laughter here), but things are finally starting to slow down and it’s time to play!

Everybody deserves a break now and then, especially a playful one.

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a random question & answer type post, but my friend, Nolita from M*O*R*G*A*N*I*C — another Oklahoma blogger, woohoo! — tagged me… teased me… tempted me to break out of my ‘profound’ writing rut. (Thanks, Nolita!) Sometimes ya just gotta bust loose.

Before I get to that, I have to add a lil’ girly infusion (thanks for bearing with me, guys) and an explanation for my “you deserved it” dinner — which I thoroughly enjoyed! I figure every woman/wife/mom/girlfriend (and yes, guy!) can appreciate the “busy” background in my photos. Such is our lot in life at times. (And I was hungry.)

It’s not every day I cook up a seafood fest for myself, but I felt the need… especially since The Man of Few Words (TMOFW) stance on Mother’s Day is/was/and always will be: “You’re not my mother!”

Yup… no card, no flowers, no dinner out. (Gotta love that man, xo.) That holiday and a few others continue to be an entirely on-my-own affair — and what better way to celebrate “my day” than with goodies that don’t often cross “our” table? By the way, I was nice and shared. (Except for the lobster and drawn butter…) Bwahahaha! ;)

Time to Play 3

First up was shrimp cocktail. It may surprise you to learn that I didn’t like shrimp until last year. (Gasp!) For some reason these succulent crustaceans didn’t appeal to me taste-wise, texture-wise, or otherwise until I made an umpteenth batch of Shrimp Scampi for my beloved (his favorite) and finally tried one. What do ya know? I liked ’em!

Better late than never.

Next up were the fabulous crab cakes shared by my friend, Jeanne. (Forever in your and your son’s debt, my dear.) Your three-ingredient dipping sauce was to die for, too!

Not to be outdone by an abundance of butter and mayonnaise (did I mention I have naturally low cholesterol?) I had to make Easy Curry Hollandaise Sauce with Asparagus by my Chef pal, Larry Fournillier… soooooo tasty. (Thanks, Larry!)

Belated Mother's Day Dinner

Now… back to those random questions. Here’s the deal. If you want to participate, do. If you don’t, don’t! I totally understand time crunches! (I think I was supposed to make up some new questions for you, too, but I kinda liked these… and if I started tagging folks, this post would be ten times longer than it already is.)

You know who you are!

Leave your answers in my comment section or start a whole new trend on your blog. ;) Mostly, have fun!

1. What has been your favorite vacation to date? My initial answer was “every day TMOFW and I spent on the road together while we were trucking,” but let’s not mix business with pleasure. Final answer? Our trip to Niagra Falls. When we got married (almost 15 years ago), we were both ‘starting over’ if ya know what I mean, and we couldn’t afford a proper honeymoon.

On our 5th anniversary we made up for lost time and did a “Great Lakes Tour” — I’m talkin’ drive around, over, and past every one of the Great Lakes in a car — which was a welcome change of pace from our semi(s) — and it included the long-awaited stop at Niagra Falls on the Canadian and U.S. sides. Corny, hokey… and entirely memorable!

2. Do you prefer big city life, suburban life, or life in the country? See header photo.

3. What is your favorite type/genre of food? Edible — preferably home-cooked.

4. How would you typically dress for a weekend night out? We don’t go out very often (see header photo…) but when we do, I tend to “fancy up.” (TMOFW not so much.) The pearls in my photos serve more than one purpose. :)

5. Do you like to wear accessories? If yes, what are your go-to accessories? I’m not much of an “accessories” person, but I do like scrunchies (in every color of the rainbow) to doll up my ever-present pony tail.

6. How do you typically fix your hair? (Blow dry and straighten/curl? Air dry? Wash and go?) See #5 above. The less time I spend on my hair, the more it leaves for other stuff.

7. What makeup do you wear on a daily basis? Do you have a preferred brand of cosmetics? I’m a “wash your face and get on with it” kinda gal, but I have a weakness for mascara and lipstick. (My eyelashes and lips tend to disappear without them.)

8. What is your preferred workout? (Gym? Outdoor running? Yoga? Group classes? None?) Stirring vigorously, chopping food like I mean it, and running back and forth between my kitchen, computer, and piano. (Walking also ranks right up there.)

9. Where is your favorite place to shop? Thrift stores and flea markets.

10. Do you enjoy entertaining guests in your home or would you prefer to be a guest and leave the hostessing to someone else? I love to entertain, but if anybody wants to invite me over, I’m game…

11. What quality do you really value in your significant other? His ineffable ability to be himself (even if it means cooking for myself on holidays now & then…) and his quiet encouragement for me to be “me.” Life doesn’t get much finer!

And this?

Random Playfulness

This is the flower he picked for me yesterday… for no reason at all.

Enjoying random playfulness,

~ Kim

© 2014 Kim Bultman and a little lunch

In My Kitchen ~ April 2014

Olive Boat

In my kitchen is this lovely porcelain olive boat — a birthday gift from my Sis last month, xo. Its dainty size is perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up, and its delicate hand-painted motif has graced our dinner table frequently.

I love serving pieces with personality, don’t you? I also enjoy ‘plating’ food even if it’s just for a snack… and you know how I feel about olives. ;)

In my kitchen is — was — this chocolate cake.

BD Cake close up

It was everything I’d hoped for: chocolate-y, hazelnut-y, heavenly! But, silly me… I halved the cake recipe and made a full batch of the ganache! (Subliminal thinking?) The double-thick topping tasted like two-desserts-in-one with toasted hazelnut meal dusted around the edges. It was supposed to have fresh strawberries for a garnish, ahem… just another excuse to make it again. (Not that I need an excuse!)

In my kitchen is the first impromptu bouquet of the season.

Flowergram 1

What do you call small bouquets? Size-wise I think this one qualifies as a nosegay or a tussie-mussie. (Such delightful terms!) Grape hyacinths are sprouting all over the yard and our rosemary bush surprised me by bursting into bloom, too — couldn’t resist bringing a lil’ Spring indoors.

Pretty flowers (and pretty food) make me happy!

For fun glimpses of kitchens around the world or to add your own, please visit our lovely hostess Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. I look forward to it every month!

Enjoying spontaneity inside and out,

~ Kim

© 2011-2014 Kim Bultman and a little lunch

Sometimes Ya Just Gotta Roll With It (Cantaloupe with Cannoli Cream)

Half the fun of cooking is trying something new, whether it works out or not, right?  (At least that’s my motto.)

“Experiment!” I proclaim from the rooftops.  Or deck…

After cannoli recipes started making the rounds last year, I decided to try canta-loni. :)  (Not to be confused with cantelloni or cannelloni — the cheese and/or meat stuffed noodle version.)

Thus, I set out with my melon ball scooper and an idea… plus a hearty dose of laughter.  Be forewarned… these little suckers are slippery!

Not only did I make the above-pictured version, I also got out the ol’ cheese-slicer-in-lieu-of-a-mandoline and attempted a “cantaloupe cannoli” — wrapping paper-thin melon slices around cannoli cream that tasted so good, there’s no photographic proof of the evidence.  (Ahem.)

I also imagined they’d be spectacular served with a slice of prosciutto and garnished with a slice of… basil?  mint?  cilantro?  (Such are the places my food imagination take me…)

My message is this:  Have fun in your kitchen this summer!

Don’t let your next great idea (and/or quest for the perfect food photo) reign you in… and for Pete’s sake, remember that food blogging isn’t “War and Peace.”

While I highly respect the passion and nutrition and well-being that’s put into everyone’s food, photography, and blog posts (thank you!), bear in mind:  it’s summer.

Have fun!

For a delightful cannoli filling, click here.  (FYI, I left out the cinnamon, allspice, and chocolate chips and substituted mascarpone for half the ricotta, but that’s not to say I won’t try the Alex Guarnaschelli‘s delectable original on a more “serious” day next time.)

For further proof of my kitchen flops (and fun), click here and here.

Then… get creative.  Get eatin’.  And for heaven’s sake, get out there and celebrate summer!

Enjoying experimenting, trial and error, and FUN,

~ Kim

P.S.  I sat on this photo (and idea) for almost a year.  Don’t waste precious time…

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