Saturday, April 17, 2010


We have an exciting new home and I hope you'll all come with us.  I know I've been behind in my posts these past couple of months and I can only claim being busy and not being terribly excited about where I've been food-wise lately.

Well I am very excited about our new home; the look, the tools that it will provide me to make more exciting content and also about the food of spring.  Winter is tough and living on a lot of thae same produce because it's the best of what we can get in the dreary cold months gets a bit old.  Face it, although good and rib sticking, root vegetables get a bit tiresome.  When the only green stuff you can get is from halfway around the world and then days (or even weeks) old, excitement is not really the best descriptor.

So here it is, please join us at Ramblefood - Ramblings from the world of food.  The blog is still titled Musings On The Path To Frugality but my hope is to just keep writing about food, everything about it; my thoughts, my philosophy, my methods for saving money while living well and all about the places we visit, places we eat and how we combine the best of life.  We all know that without the eating and drinking part the rest gets pretty dull.

Here's the URL to update your readers -  I hope you'll come along for the ride and comment on everything.  I don't know about other blog writers but I write mostly for myself but I love getting comments; good, bad or indifferent but I love 'em all!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A post from a real estate blog where I contribute occasionally

Here's a post I added to my friend Scott's real estate blog, Classic Homes Northwest.  Take a peek, it's a bit more ramble-ey than I've been these past few months but I like it. 

Keeping up with who?

We'll be moving soon and all the details will be posted here as I post in both places for a month or so.  Keep an eye out and all will unfold before your eyes :-)


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ode to Rotisserie Chicken

How I love
my fast food chicken
meat so tender
just for pickin'
from my fingers
I'd be lickin'
juice from my
rotisserie chicken

All right so a great poet I'm not but I need to write about my favorite fast food.  Relatively healthful, pretty cheap (Costco, ~3 pounds for $4.99 just blocks from my house and better yet, on the way home!), tender, juicy and tasty.  Does anyone disagree this is the best fast food deal out there?

Again tonight the youngling was deep into his baking for tomorrow's bake sale to benefit the people of Haiti being hed at my office.  Tonight another 6 dozen chocolate chip cookies using the recipe for THE BEST chocolate chip cookes ever from my friend Alice from Savory Sweet Life.  I've written about Alice before, a great cook, terrific photographer and a beautiful lady inside and out.  Check out her recipe here and if you're not following this award winning blog yet then it's time you start.

Knowing Henry would be at it for some time and needing to run out for more eggs in order to complete the double chocolate brownie which are also headed to the office tomorrow for the same sale, I thought dinner could be easy, hot, and mighty tasty with a quick stop by Costco.  A surgical entry and exit and I made my way to the auto with a plastic box from which was emanating a most yummy aroma.

There is just so much that can be done with this convenient bit of deliciousness.  Tonight we made chicken sandwiches to eat in between rolling dough balls for the cookies.  At other times I've been known to pull the meat from the bird and use it for a quick batch of Enchiladas Suizas, chicken curry, wrap it a tortilla with some Tapatio & Pico Pica with sauteed onions and peppers, weeknight chicken soup or even that down home country comfort classic, chicken and dumplings...mmm, etc, etc, etc...

Anyway, I just thought I'd try and wax a bit poetic about one of the things that helps us stay on budget when we need something good tasting, good for us and good for the wallet.  We can't eat at MacDonalds or Taco Bell for that kinda money and this is WAY better for all concerned...


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tuesday 2nd February 2010

Here is is a Tuesday evening, had a hankering for some south of the border flavors so decided I better dig in and make myself some.

Henry and I tried a new place (for us anyway) the other night, La Casa Azul in Shoreline and it was quite delicious.  Henry's carne asada with home made tortillas was top shelf, world class, etc on the adjectives.  My enchiladas de pollo con salsa verde was also quite good.  A bit tart for the make it to my top few on the salsa verde scale but the chicken was scrumptious, the home made tortillas tender and don't get me wrong the sauce was delicious but I like mine just a bit less tart and a bit more creamy with onions.  But what I took away was my absolute love of a good margarita (funny how you forget these things) and any place that makes their cadillac 'ritas with Hornitos is OK in my book. 

Yes, the caddy 'ritas were spendy ($8.95 and I had 2) but last week was a week of dining out as I was on some whacky off shift work (one night until 0130, I'm too old for that sh*t) and worked the first 60 hour week in recent memory (that used to be my regular, I guess I'm feeling my near 50 anos eh?) so I really didn't have much food in the house and Friday night was late and I needed something different and tasty so we tried La Cas Azul.  It is a lovely little piece of Oaxaca in the north end of the Seattle area....give it a try, it'll make you happy.

So I took a bit of a ghetto approach to some guacamole tonight, some Trader Joe's Avocado's Number Guacamole, Trader Joe's Organic Tomatillo and Roasted Yellow Chili Salsa (Henry's favorite), a dash of Tabasco Chipotle and POOF! guacamole on a weeknight that takes about 2 minutes.  A perfect margarita and once again POOF! here we find ourselves in Mexico without customs and long flights. Crank up the heat, put on your flip flops and here we are with the season premier of Lost (tropical theme, don'tcha get it?).

Anyway, here's my little slice of Tuesday paradise; the perfect margarita and some guacamole with chips..ahhhh.

Weeknight Guacamole
  • 1/2 package (8oz) Trader Joe's Avocado's Number Guacamole
  • 1/4 Cup Trader Joe's Organic Tomatillo and Roasted Yellow Chili Salsa
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco Chipotle
  1. Stir together and set aside while making the 'ritas

The Perfect Margarita
  • 4oz Fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 4oz Sauza Hornitos tequila
  • 2oz Cointreau
  1. Blend the above together and set aside
  2. Rim a pint glass with lime juice and kosher salt
  3. Fill the glass with ice
  4. *Note - Taste the mix, this is the time to sweeten if necessary.  Tonight my lime juice was a bit bitter, I like the tanginess of the straight lime juice but I needed to cut the bitter so I added 1/4 teaspoon honey but agave syrup would work as well
  5. Pour the mix over the ice and top with a wedge of lime
Serve the guacamole with Trader Joe's Longboard tortilla chips and kick back for the summary of the first 5 seasons of Lost.  A fine way to spend a Tuesday evening...this is what you end up with -


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Veggie Pie with a Whole Wheat Crust

Hey everyone, glad to be back after my computer problems of the past couple weeks.  Clicked on a new game site advertised on FB and POOF! a virus embedded in my registry.  Well needless to say, I'm starting from scratch and although it is kinda nice to have a completely clean slate it's also a mighty pain in the arse as well.

So last weekend we ran into a weekly phenomena at Casa Hunger and those of you who have been reading for some time probably know where this is going - PIZZA NIGHT!  Although we didn'/t have a lot of special toppings we were able to muddle through and the lad was content as he usually is to enjoy a traditional cheese pizza but as I had some of my homemade farmer cheese, I had other things in mind...

This is what I ended up with and I must say for a throw together event making do with what's in the fridge...

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
  • 3/4 Cup Water, very warm
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 1/3 Cup AP flour
  • 2/3 Cup Whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tablespoons Kosher salt
  1. Combine the water, yeast and oil in a food processor or mixer
  2. Add the flour and the salt
  3. Pulse in a processor or mix on low in a mixer until all is combined
  4. Check for texture, it should be moist and slighty firm, with practice you'll figure out what's perfect but since basic dough like this is so dependent on the weather (moisture in the air issues), these measurements are close but depending on the day may need a bit of tweaking.
  5. Kick the processor on or turn your mixer on about medium high and knead for about 4 minutes in a food processor or about 6 to 8 minutes in a mixer.  The dough is done when it pulls nicely in an elastic manner.
  6. Cover with a towel in an oiled bowl nd let rest for 40 minutes or so
  7. Punch down the dough and divide in half
  8. Form half the dough into a ball and on a floured counter push down and then stretch with your hands or roll to the size and shape of your choice; we both like a bit of counded crust at the edge do I typically stretch by hand on the counter turning and pushing down with fists and finger tips until about 9" to 10" in diameter
  9. Place the stretched dough on a pizza peel or an an inverted sheet pan covered lightly in flour or cornmeal
  10. Top with your choice of toppings and bake on a preheated stone at 550F for about 6 to 8 minutes
This particular pie was topped with olive oil, homemade whole milk ricotta, sliced onions and sweet peppers with sliced mushrooms...deeeelightful if I do say so myself!


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Quick Chilaquiles

So there I was, a Saturday morning that both the lad and I slept late.  Looking for something a bit different and easy to wake my foggy brain along with the fine brew in the coffeemaker.  Hmmm... chilly outside, need to get us going and through the morning as we head to the beach with the dog to take in a lovely sunny January day here in the PNW.  You know we need to take advantage of these days when we get 'em but we men need our sustenance.  Something quick, something hearty and to be constructed of the foodstuffs we have in the pantry and fridge.

Shuffle through the pantry, check in the fridge... Tortilla chips, eggs, a jar of salsa and grated mozzarella from pizza night the evening before.  And it dawns on me, I could make chilaquiles!  Now not the traditional recipe using stale leftover tortillas or cotija cheese but a pretty good semblance of the real deal and close enough to get us out the door to love this day!

So here it is, hearty, inexpensive and mighty darn tasty. 

Quick Chilaquiles
  • 3/4 C Salsa
  • 1/4 C Water
  • 3oz Tortilla chips
  • 2oz Cheese, grated - as I wrote above wew used mozzarella but cotija or jack would be more authentic
  • 4 eggs
  1. Heat the salsa and water over medium heat
  2. Add the chips and toss gently in the sauce - don't want to break them up
  3. Continue cooking until the chips soften but are not soggy
  4. Sprinkle the cheese over the chips and sauce, cover and remove from the heat
  5. Cook the eggs to your liking - Henry really only likes scrambled so scrambled it is
Serve with more salsa on the side for the eggs and a hearty, savory breakfast ensues.  Enjoy!


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Lighten Up A Classic

The other night I felt like something with lots of vegetables but still hearty for a cold evening.  I had some leftover rotisserie chicken that had pulled from the bone and a big bag of broccoli crowns and a pound and a half of button mushrooms.  All of this made me think back to an old classic casserole, Chicken Divan.

Now if we were to analyze just what went into this classic, I didn't have everything needed nor did I really want to do it up since it is loaded with fat (trying to cut back a bit at this early date in the new year) and bunches of sodium due to the vast amounts of sour cream and cream of mushroom soup (way salty and I'm back to trying to really minimize any use of packaged food).  I really didn't want to put it all together and then wait for it in the oven either.

Although I wanted to get into this classic and the more I thought about it the more it appealed to me.  Afterall, broccoli, onions, garlic, mushrooms and roast chicken in a yummy rich gravy?  Please, how could I resist.  I mean really?

So here is my take on a classic that maybe your Mom even made.  The best part, pretty healthy while still tasty, rich and rib sticking goodness.

Lightened Up Chicken Divan

*NOTE - The key here is to use equal amounts of chicken, broccoli and mushrooms.  I had 12oz of leftover roast chicken so that's where I started.
  • 1/4 C Olive oil
  • 4 Cloves Fresh garlic
  • 1/4 tsp Crushed red peppers
  • 6oz Onions, diced
  • 12oz Mushrooms, sliced about 1/4" thick
  • 1 Cup Dry white wine
  • 12oz Broccoli crowns
  • 2 Cups Chicken stock
  • 1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 12oz Roast chicken meat
  • 1/4 Cup AP Flour
  • 4oz Fresh Parmesan, Asiago, Romano or other hard grating cheese, grated fine
  • Kosher salt & Freshly ground pepper to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper together up to medium high heat
  2. Add the onions and reduce the heat to medium, sauteing until most of the moisture is gone from the veg
  3. Add the sliced mushrooms and saute until softened
  4. Add the white wine and reduce over medium heat until nearly all moisture is gone
  5. Toss the broccoli crowns with the other veg and add the stock & cream, stirring to combine
  6. Add the chicken and stir to combine
  7. In a small bowl, make a slurry of the flour and about 1/2 Cup of the liquid from the cooking pan
  8. Stir in the slurry and bring to a simmer to thicken
  9. Continue simmering for about 5 minutes to cook out the flour taste, slowly stirring to keep the bottom from burning
  10. Add the grated cheese and stir gently to melt into the sauce
  11. Check the seasoning and adjust to taste
I served this over steamed brown rice and this is hearty enough for 4 people or for me it was a great dinner and 3 yummy lunches all for about $6 or $7.  I call this a win...