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Archive for the ‘Cooking Critters’ Category

Jumping Cat

I somehow managed to capture the cat jumping over a strainer of lettuce last year. She enjoys scampering along the countertops, and green produce is a particular interest for her. 🙂

I’m still on a pseudo-hiatus here for another week or so. But I’m using my fresh balcony herbs in some cooking, and pondering making some pesto very soon. We’re headed out next week on a mini-vacation, and hopefully we’ll find some good eats too!

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Pumpkin over Lettuce

Note the form, the intensity in her eyes, the powerful back legs, the lil belly…

Cooking is always an event around here… 🙂

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It’s actually been awhile since I’ve made my own pesto. I had forgotten just how important it is to add ingredients one at a time, instead of, say, dumping it all in the food processor and turning it on. 🙂 So, this batch came out a bit pastier than I would have liked, but I will learn from it. I also added too much garlic up front… it can be tricky to recover from over-garlicking. In addition, I now remember that shredding the Parmesan cheese first is better than just cutting it into chunks. I may have strained the motor on the food processor with that one. Whoops!

Pesto ingredients are pretty basic:

  • Basil Leaves
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Pine Nuts

I also like adding Sun-Dried Tomatoes in there too, but that’s for later batches. With Round #1 now complete, my basil plant has been thinned and trimmed. I have 2 jars of pesto in the freezer, and they will be a very welcome treat come wintertime with some pasta and mushrooms. I have a better recollection of the precision of pesto-making, and of how to improve it for next time. And, it’s still early, my plant is growing strong, so there will be a few other next times this season, definitely…

Jar of Pesto
One of two jars of pesto, now in my freezer.
Puggles with Basil
Puggles, with Basil. One of the results of having the couch in the living room backed up against the main food prep counter in the kitchen… I don’t mind, although some might. I’m a dog person, always will be… Plus, she’s funny too… She knows not to try to get anything that’s on the cutting board, so she’ll just sit and watch me cook. But if it goes onto the counter, then it’s fair game.
Those are our rules. 🙂
Warhol Pesto
I call this ‘Warhol Pesto’. This is the exact way the picture came out. Due to the angle of the flash, but I was amused by it. 😉

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Introducing…

Ms. Round Mound of Gourmand.

That is the name that she asked me to give to her here. She is also known as Puggles. I figured I’d introduce her first, with a somewhat flattering picture. Later, we’ll come to see her, ahem, thoroughly enjoying her food. She, too, is a foodie. She can wake up from a dead-sleep if the fridge is opened. She will sniff out the last crumb on the floor. She will stare mercilessly as you eat your dinner. She will happily devour a cheeseburger, if you let her.

Name: Puggles
Likes: Cheese (of any kind), Meat (specifically Applewood-Smoked Bacon), Cheesy Potato Items (i.e. Fries), Eggs, Biscuits, Cottage Cheese, Potato Chips, Beer, Cheerio’s, Rice, Cheese (did I mention that already?)
Dislikes: Green Onions, Lettuce (will succumb to it, if necessary, when coated with ranch dressing), Mushrooms (hit or miss)

She’s quite a lil character, and we love her so…

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This is Pumpkin, our food cat. She looks like giant cat to me here. She’s usually slinking around when there’s activity in the kitchen. For this shot, we had come back from the grocery store and were putting our things away. Here, she’s in D.’s pile of ingredients for some cheesy potatoes that he made. A quick and easy casserole, of sorts.

That’s one cooking difference between us… he likes to use prepared food when he cooks, and I prefer to start from scratch when I’m cooking. If I was making a potato casserole, I’d grab the bag of potatoes, scrub ’em down, and then start cubing. D. would grab the bag of Ore-Ida O’Brien (shown above), and start cooking. Just preferences. Here’s the ingredients for making D.’s Cheesy Creamy Potato Casserole:

  • Ore-Ida O’Brien Frozen Cubed Potatoes (2 bags)
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • 2 Cans of Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • Small Container of Sour Cream
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese (about 2 cups)
  • Crunchy Onion Ring Thingys

Basically, stir the seasonings in with the frozen potatoes, to coat. Stir in the cream of mushroom soups and sour cream. Then stir in the cheddar cheese. Sometimes D. adds some cream cheese, but today we didn’t. Smooth into a lightly oiled baking pan and cook at 325 degrees or so, for 40 minutes, or til bubbly. Then add the crunchy onion ring thingys and cook for about 5 minutes more, til browned on top. It’s a quick and easy and yummy dish.

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