Thursday, July 05, 2007

Celebrating July 4th Down Under

I could have said Aussie style but sheesh all we had were some ribs I slathered with Emeril's Essence and some olive oil and baked them in the oven for a few hours. This we ate with relish and downed some Golden Grove Muscat Liqueur whilst watching the last State of Origin footy match betwixt Queensland and New South Wales. NSW won darnit but hubby shall live.

Hrmmmm, Tiger got in a very unfair fight with a cat a couple of weeks ago and he lost. When I got home from work I found a very small patch of kitty fur just beyond the back steps and Tiger was moaning and whining and all gimpy and refused to get off the sofa once he got inside, so what ensued was a long trip to the vet when C~ got home a few minutes later. After a checkup and some antibiotics, pain killers, and compresses were prescribed we got home with a dopey doggy that was mighty hungry and all sooky to boot.

Tigez is all better now thank goodness but he's been following me around like he's afraid of having me out of his sight. He even comes when I call him now, too. Dunno if the cat incident has anything to do with it but whatever, it's working lol.

I've been lucky enough to have had to call in sick the past 2 days with a bout of gastritis apparently picked up from work and today is my normal day off during this months schedule so I'm trying to get a few things done but all my body wants to do is take a nap.

It doesn't help that it went from nice and warm this morning to cool and windy, either. Feels like a knife cutting through ya when it blows....brrrrrrrrr. So, that's what I've been up to other than the usual housework on top of work work. GACK! Real life sucks sometimes don't it?

Ah well, life goes on and will improve I'm sure of it.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Oh! For the love of Cornbread!

I have been having some serious winter food cravings lately and last night I made some awesome cornbread to go with tonights black-eyed peas and corned beef.

Well, it started out with C~ telling me that we HAD to use up the milk quickly before it went bad, so we started thinking of stuff to cook with milk. For my share I made some scalloped potatoes, he pulled out a corned beef so he could make some fritters later on this week....ugh! the thoughts of all that grease flying everywhere sets my teeth on edge! LOL. He does clean it up, though...that is AFTER he left it overnight one time and I had the mother of all conniption fits one morning upon discovering cold grease covering every inch of the counter, stove, and floor closest to the stove. ALl I have to say about that is EWWWWWWWW!

So, I made the cornbread. The scalloped potatoes took way too long to cook and I ended up not even getting to eat them with supper, but that's ok there was plenty without it.

I have had some dried black-eyed peas sitting around for ages and keep telling myself I'm going to cook them when I get the right seasoning stuff. Well, a few weeks ago I bought some Speck.
It looks tastes wonderful, too. The first thing I tried it in was baked beans, ohhhh yummo! It's this cured bacony pork stuff known most the world round as MEAT and oh boy is it ever good. Hey, I was looking for fatback or streak of lean but they just do not seem to carry that here, so I opted to check out this Speck stuff and am glad I did. Hey! I was about to steal one of Tiger's bacon bones but felt I'd make that a last resort, though I have found tons of recipes for their use in human, bacon bones, not just for dogs anymore *grin*. Just check out any British or Aussie recipe site and you will find plenty of them ... something like a hock but not exactly.

Anywho, I firgured I'd share my cornbread recipe with ya'll since I've had to learn to improvise with stuff on hand and cornmeal is very difficult to find here and when I have it's so very fine it makes awful cornbread so I use polenta instead. This is a recipe I found on the net and have altered it to suit the ingredients I have.

Alber's Cornbread
1 cup polenta
1 cup self-raising flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder (still use it because it makes it rise nicely)
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten

PREHEAT oven to 400°F or 200 C . Grease 8-inch-square baking pan.
COMBINE corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Combine milk, oil and egg in small bowl; mix well. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; stir just until blended. Pour into prepared pan.
BAKE for 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Serve warm.

**I have also added 1 TBSP of honey to it as well to make it even sweeter and it is very nice.**

I am sooooo loving this! So far, my peas are boiling nicely and should be ready quite soon!

Ta Ta for now I'm off to speed supper up and check out the latest Torchwood episode and adventures in the T.A.R.D.I.S. . BTW, if any of you have never watched Dr. Who please check it out. You just don't know what you are missing. I feel so deprived to have had a childhood that was bereft of this wonderful show. Those in America will probably find it on the BBC Channel.