Tuesday, May 21, 2019

May 21, 2019 Lunch – PPI Mapo Dofu. Dinner – Grilled Hamburger Steak with Roasted Potatoes, grilled onion, and tomato stuffed with Asparagus and corn salad

May 21, 2019 Lunch – PPI Mapo Dofu. Dinner – Grilled Hamburger Steak with Roasted Potatoes, grilled onion, and tomato stuffed with Asparagus and corn salad

I had a hurried partial breakfast of yogurt, milk, tropical fruit salad, and granola.

At noon I heated the PPI Mapo Dofu and ate it with PPI Japanese pickled carrots, cucumber, and radish.

At 5:30 I peeled and diced six Yukon Gold potatoes and dusted them with a Middle Eastern spice blend and tossed them in olive oil and baked them for 45 minutes at 350 degrees in a convection oven.

Then I formed 1/3 lb. hamburger steaks and sliced a medium onion into four thick slices.  Suzette sliced a heirloom tomato in half and garnished each half with a salad she made with corn kernels, diced asparagus spears marinated in a balsamic dressing overnight.

I fetched a bottle of 2013 Apothic Red blend from the cellar.  When I opened it and tasted it I discovered that it was mostly merlot and Zinfandel.  I preferred the Cherry Blossom Pinot Noir from California ($4.99 at Trader Joe’s) we drank last night but Suzette liked the heaviness, so I poured her a glass of Apothic and I poured myself the rest of the pinot.

                                                           The Salads

                                                                   The wines

                                                                 The dinner

Suzette Grilled the hamburgers and onion slices. After she flipped the hamburgers she garnished them with slices of foie gras and Manchego Cheese.

The resulting hamburger was delicious and there was a lot of textural variation between the soft salad and hamburger and the firm roasted potatoes.
I enjoyed the foie gras capped hamburger, which reminded me of a steak lunch I had in Hungary served with a whole sautéed duck liver on top.  Tonight was not as impressive but equally delicious.

I enjoyed bites of hamburger with grilled onion, cheese, and foie gras.

After dinner I drank a cup of chai and we flipped the feathur bed and went to sleep

Bon Appetit

Monday, May 20, 2019

May 20, 2019 Lunch – Taj Mahal. Dinner – a Grilled Dinner of Lamb Chops, Asparagus , and White Sweet Potatoes

May 20, 2019 Lunch – Taj Mahal. Dinner – a Grilled Dinner of Lamb Chops, Asparagus , and White Sweet Potatoes

I had my usual breakfast of granola, yogurt, tropical fruit salad and a touch of milk.

Then I ran several appointments and joined Mike for lunch at Taj Mahal.  The lunch buffet at Taj Mahal has never been reduced in quality, although the price has increased over the years.  It now is $12.25, which I consider fair, especially when restaurants of similar quality such as India House in Santa Fe charge $14.95 for a buffet lunch of comparable quality.  I ate tandoori chicken, beef meatballs in tamarind sauce, and chicken tikka Marsala plus saag and some rice and fresh onion slices and riata.

I called Suzette to see if it was okay to invite Mike to dinner and she agreed.

Then I had rice pudding for dessert.

Here are pictures of the buffet.

After lunch I went home and worked until 3:30 and then napped until Suzette arrived at 4:30.

We decided to use a Moroccan rub on the lamb shoulder chops but instead of Billy’s recipe we used a prepared rub containing sumac, garlic, and olive oil that gave the meat a reddish color.

Suzette fetched and snapped 15 stalks of large asparagus and sliced the two white sweet potatoes she bought at Sprouts on Saturday and coated them with salt, pepper, and olive oil..  When Mike came a bit after 6:00 I was working, so he drank a scotch with Suzette.  When I finished I made a gin and tonic and joined them.

Suzette then grilled all three ingredients on the grill and we had a grilled dinner. I opened the bottle of 2014 Anciano Tempranillo Crianza Rahim and Sarah gave me for Christmas.  It was smooth and delicious and complemented the lamb and brought back memories of pascal lamb and Tempranillo in Spain.

After dinner Suzette dozed in front of the TV while Mike and I ate goat cheese and French Brie on toasted French bread and drank glasses of Cherry Blossom Pinot Noir ($4.99 at Trader Joe’s).

Later after Mike left at 9:00 I ate the last of the Clafoutis with a cup of tea and a shot of Calvados.

Mike loved the meal and I must admit that it was simply wonderful.

The best asparagus this side of Segovia in the springtime five or six years ago, a wonderfully flavorful marinated lamb chop, and amazing grilled slices of white sweet potato with a really good wine.

A really good meal.

Bon Appetit

May 19, 2019 Lunch - Museum Hill Café. Dinner – Steamed Stuffed Trout with Steamed Asparagus and an Ear of Corn

May 19, 2019 Lunch - Museum Hill Café. Dinner – Steamed Stuffed Trout with Steamed Asparagus and an Ear of Corn

I awakened at 7:30 and began watching the news programs and drank a cup of green tea.  Suzette awakened around 8:15 and drank coffee and then went to check the garden.

At 9:00 I toasted a slice of bagel and smeared it with cream cheese and garnished it with slices of onion and Gravad Lax.  I drank another cup of green tea to wash down the bagel.

At 10:00 we decided to make breakfast.  Suzette fried four sausage patties and the four eggs in a large skillet.  I toasted another slice of bagel and spread cream cheese on it and a couple slices of onion. I refreshed my green tea Winthrop hot water and Suzette made her favorite Sunday morning beverage, a Bloody Mary.

We then dressed and at 11:00 drove to Santa Fe.  We drove directly to the International Folk Art Museum on Museum Hill overlooking Santa Fe and the Jemez Mountains to the west.

We wanted to see the Alexander Girard exhibit.  He was not only instrumental in helping organize the Museum, but he was one of the greatest designers of the 20th Century.  He worked for Henry Miller and Knoll and was friends with the Eames and Eero Saarinen.  It was a fantastically interesting exhibit.  Here are some pictures.


                                          A beautifully designed exhibit

At 2:00 after seeing the entire exhibit, we walked across the raised plaza to the Museum Hill Café. I had checked the menu and it looked interesting, but after we were seated we were amazed when the special menu for the Girard exhibit was presented because it offered a rose produced by one of my favorite wineries, Chateau Nerthe in Chateauneuf du Pape that I had never drunk before.  We ordered a bottle for $43.00, which seemed very reasonable to me.

God Bless Chateau La Nerthe 

A happy girl with her wine and her cell phone

Suzette ordered corn custard garnished with a poblano green cream sauce and a slice of avocado.  I ordered two duck and cheese flautas with a ramekin of mango salsa and one filled with mango purée.


The view from our table to the west with the Jemez Mountains in the distance


We were both supposed to also receive a salad.  My flautas were on a bed of greens but Suzette’s dish lacked a salad.  When we brought that to the waiter’s attention he immediately brought Suzette a salad dressed with a drizzle of creamy balsamic dressing.  We requested more dressing and were brought a ramekin of dressing.  I combined my greens with her salad and we dressed and shared the combined salad.

Lunch was excellent and the wine superb.  Our best meal of the month. We had visited Chateau
La  Nerthe on our first trip together to France because we enjoyed their wines at a wonderful dinner at Restaurant Christian Etienne in Avignon.

The complexity and vibrant fruitiness of the Rose was startling.  We could not stop drinking the wine.  It ranks near the top of my favorite roses.  I highly recommend it, especially if you like Rhone grape varieties from Chateauneuf du Pape

After our entrees we still had wine in our glasses so we shared a slice of pecan pie made with molasses.  It was thick and wonderfully gooey.

After lunch we drove to Stephen’s Consignment where Suzette found an Allesi Italian designed pepper grinder that was the identical design as our corkscrew we bought in Brussels.

After Stephen’s we drove home arriving at approximately 5:15.  I dozed on the way home and rested and the Suzette lay down for a nap after we arrived home.  I awakened at 6:15 and went the garden to gather dill, thyme, parsley, and chives.  Suzette awakened while I was in the garden.

I also picked strawberries and then took the herbs inside and chopped them finely and then cut off the head of the 1 lb. trout and we stuffed the stomach cavity with the herb mixture combined with soft butter, which is the Swedish recipe.

Suzette steamed the asparagus and boiled the corn and cooked the fish in the steaming oven for 25 minutes.  Everything was well cooked. I simply took a knife and fork and lifted the backbone from between the two filets as easily as ever and lay one filet on each of two plates with a portion of the
herb stuffing.

Suzette had placed the Béarnaise sauce near the pots on the stove to warm a bit and we garnished the asparagus with near room temperature sauce and buttered the corn with a stick of firm butter.

I opened and poured glasses of Pinot Grigio delle  Venezie bought on Saturday at Trader Joe’s for $5.99.  It is seemingly our summer house wine.  I like it a lot with food because it is light and has a pleasant balance of acidity and fruitiness.  Of course the fact that it is the  Pinot Gris grape helps a lot.

After dinner we watched the conclusion of Les Miserables and went to bed a bit after 10:00 following another day of wonderful food and super wine and interesting activities.

Bon Appetit

Sunday, May 19, 2019

May 18; 2019 A Day of Leftovers Lunch - PPI Baked Gourmet Fish with Duchess Potatoes. Dinner – Boiled Shrimp with Vichyssoises and Caprese Salad

May 18; 2019 A Day of Leftovers Lunch -  PPI Baked Gourmet Fish with Duchess Potatoes. Dinner – Boiled Shrimp with Vichyssoises and Caprese Salad

This was a non-food day.  I ate granola with tropical fruit salad and milk.  Then I rode to Campbell Rd., then showered and dressed.  We worked on a construction contract for the candy store and then at 1:00 left for Palmer Brewery and Left hand Distillery to try its newly released blue corn straight bourbon.   Suzette ordered an Old Fashion and I ordered a whisky sour and an order of super nachos with chili con queso, retried beans, green onions, and spam.

My whisky sour 

                                                   Suzette’s Old Fashion

We tasted a Brothers Old Santa Fe Trail gin that we liked and discovered it was on sale at Total Wine.  So after we enjoyed our drinks and snack we went into shopping mode.

We started at Albertson’s where we bought 8 oysters and a rainbow trout.  Then we went to Total Wine where we bought roses, a bottle of the gin, some Marsala and sweet wines for the Bistro.  Then we drove to Trader Joe’s where we replenished basics like Tom’s deodorant and toothpaste plus bottles of Pinot Grigio and Spanish La Granja Verdejo and Viura blend and two bottles each of dry and sweet Marsala for the Bistro yogurt, a baguette, and a milk chocolate with hazelnut bar.

Finally we went to Sprouts and bought grass fed 85% fat free ground beef on sale for $2.99/lb., 16-20 count headless shrimp for $4.99/lb. and Suzette bought yams.

Finally we drove downtown to April’s Gallery in the Hyatt to see the photography show with Dan Peebles’ and Miguel Gandert’s photos.  We talked to Dan and Cynthia who just returned from France.  Dan is a huge fan of Gigondas reds and they spent a week there and three days in Lyon where they ate at several great restaurants.

Finally we made it home.  All we could do was unload the perishables.

Suzette wanted oysters for dinner nut when I opened three they were all bad and we threw all 8 out.  Since Suzette has made a lovely cocktail sauce with lemon juice, catsup, and fresh Long’s horseradish, we decided to boil shrimp, make a caprese salad, and have shrimp with the last of the Vichyssoises.  When we poured out the Vichyssoise it tasted slightly ripe but we ate it anyway.  Suzette sliced one of the nice heirloom tomatoes I bought at Sprouts and alternated slices of tomato,
fresh mozzarella, and cucumber and made a balsamic dressing. I opened a bottle of Gruet rose and we had a simple dinner.

We the watched a rerun of a Rachel Maddie’s Friday evening show, Father Brown Mystery and finally Death in Paradise on PBS and went to bed at 10:00.

I woke up at 12:30 and blogged and drank a bit of Calvados and some of the milk chocolate with hazelnuts.

We try to get used to days like this when we must finish our PPIs.

Bon Appetit

Friday, May 17, 2019

May 17, 2019 Lunch – Lindy’s. Dinner – Enchiladas and tamale and Picnic dinner at Plaza.

May 17, 2019 Lunch – Lindy’s. Dinner – Enchiladas and tamale and Picnic dinner at Plaza.

I went back to my favorite breakfast of granola, tropical fruit salad and milk.  There was no yogurt.

I called Bill Turner to invite him to lunch and went to his office at noon.  We walked to Hanna Sushi but it was full with a line, so we walked east on Central toward Brixens.  When we arrived at 5th. Bill mentioned Lindy’s across the street.  I sad it had been years since I ate there.  Bill knew the owner, Nick’s son Steve, so decided on the spot to try it.

We walked in and walked back to the kitchen and Bill introduced me to Steve who was cooking in the kitchen and we found an empty table.  Steve’s wife was our waitress.  She handed us menus.  The choices were fairly extensive.  I finally decided to order a Cobb Salad.  We talked it seemed like a long time as others were served their lunches.  Finally we were served plates mounded with layers of a gourmet lettuce assortment, large chunks of crisp bacon, crumbled blue cheese, and on top a whole grilled sliced chicken breast surrounded by cucumber slices, wedges of tomato and two halves of a hard boiled egg.  This was like no Cobb Salad I had ever seen.  Instead of a large salad bowl with sections of each item, this was a pile of ingredients pile up into a mountain of salad.  On a side plate was a buttered and toasted piece of Texas Toast and a small bowl of blue cheese salad dressing.

This the kind and quantity of salad I often make for my lunch at home, except I never grill a whole chicken breast.  This was a great salad for $8.95.  Bill had ordered the same thing.

We both ordered waters.

We ate and talked for 1 ½ hours about all sorts of things, mostly legal and water related, while we nibbled our salads.  I really enjoyed my salad and ate the whole salad.  Steve is Greek, so next time I may order the Greek Salad.  My first impression of Lindy’s that it provides generous portions of good ingredients at reasonable prices.  I will definitely return.

After lunch we returned to Bill’s office and talked until almost 3:00.

I went home and checked the Market. Today was a down day but not a disaster.

At 4:15 Suzette arrived and I lay down until 5:30 for a nap.  When I awoke I was hungry.  I heated the last tamale and piece of enchiladas and fetched a beer from the garage fridge.  We then put together a picnic dinner.  Suzette made egg salad with diced tomatoes. Instead of celery used lovage and she nestled the salad in a plastic container inside four wedges of avocado. I packed slices of freshly made dill pickles and fetched a chilled bottle of A to Z Winery Pinot Gris, which Suzette poured into a thermos with a few cubes of ice and filled a small plastic container with tropical fruit salad.  We drove to Old Town and parked near the building at the corner of Mountain and Rio Grande and walked to the Plaza.  When we arrived Traci Whiney was already singing.  We really enjoyed her.  She was a Rayette and has a wonderful voice.  We shared bites of egg salad and avocado and sips of
wine and nibbled on pickles, which were perfectly pickled after one day in the brine.  The A to Z
Pinot Gris has a musty aftertaste that was unpleasant.  We decided we did not like it, especially at
$12.99 at a Trader Joe’s.

The pickles

The wind was blowing hard and it was cooling rapidly so after the first set at 8:30 we left and walked to the building.  We cut some weeds and then went home.

When we arrived home I made a cup of hot chocolate and the ate a bowl of ice cream both with shots of rum.

A little after 9:00 I read the Moonstone and then dozed off until Suzette came to bed.  We remade the bed by shaking and flipping the feather mattress and went to bed.

Bon Appetit

Thursday, May 16, 2019

May 16, 2019 Lunch – Salad and Soup. Dinner – Mapo Dofu and Pickled Vegetables

May 16, 2019 Lunch – Salad and Soup. Dinner – Mapo Dofu and Pickled Vegetables

I decided to try to use two PPIs for breakfast, egg whites and country fried potatoes.  I sectioned about three oz. of country fried potato slices and sliced about 1 oz. of onion, and about ½ oz. of garlic chives and sautéed them for a few minutes and added a patty of sausage to the skillet and turned the potato sections to brown them.  Then I sectioned and added a stalk of asparagus  and then poured four egg whites into the skillet while filled the skillet and covered the ingredients except for the sausage.

I sliced ½ bagel in half, toasted it and smeared the toasted bagel with cream cheese.

After a few minutes I flipped the whole affair and cooked the other side.  I slid the cooked affair onto a plate for a lovely breakfast.

My egg and vegetable pancake with sausage and a bagel.

For lunch I decided to try to eat some of the PPI Vichyssoise and a salad.

I went to the garden and picked a basket of lettuce, which I washed and spun and put in a pasta bowl.  I then added a diced tomato, cooked green beans, a sliced Persian cucumber, two sliced green onions, and refreshed the salad dressing with olive oil and juice of ½ lemon and drizzled dressing on the salad.

Loyda was here cleaning and I offered her a bowl of Vichyssoise.  So I filled two soup bowls with soup and toasted the ½ of the half of bagel and ate a lovely salad and soup for lunch.  Loyda commented that she had never eaten a Vichyssoise and then said, “I had never eaten a cold soup.”  I showed her the recipe that I used in Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child.  Leek and potato soup is the first recipe in the cookbook and is arguably the easiest recipe: 3 ½ cups of leeks, 4 cups of thinly sliced potatoes plus 1 T. of salt cooked partially cooked in 2quarts of water for 40 to 60 minutes.  Then puréed and enriched with 6 T. To 1 cup of heavy cream.  Done.

After lunch I halved the six remaining Persian cucumbers and stuffed them into the dill pickle jar.  It filled the jar but there was just enough room to stuff in the four or five tops of the dill plants going to seed in the garden.  This weekend we will plan a picnic with fresh dill pickles, probably deviled eggs, and perhaps chicken salad.

It was another strong day in the market except for companies that sell into the Chinese market, like Qualcomm.  I made a profitable was happy.  At 3:15 I lay down and soon fell asleep until 4:30 when
Suzette announced her arrival.

She had her cocktail and then went to the candy store to supervise Sergio, who we hired to cut and clear the weeds in the back yard and side of the property.

When we returned home at 6:00 Suzette announced that she was hungry and fetched the wok full of Mapo Dofu from the garage fridge.  I fetched the bowl of pickled vegetables I had made yesterday and Suzette heated the PPI rice and we ate a hardy dinner.  Oddly we drank Italian Pinot Grigio with dinner.  The cold fruity lightly acidic wine was really delicious with the heavy sauce and eggplant, onion, sausage, garlic and ginger in the Mapo Dofu with the pickled vegetables.

The Mapo Dofu Cooking in the wok

                                                        Tonight on rice

The pickled vegetables 

The Pinot Grigio 

I picked a few rose and filled a couple of vases and we watched some news  and a wonderful documentary on the Mona Lisa.  Surprise, Leonardo painted two copies.  One in 1503 that took him four years to paint and the Louvre one that everyone has seen in 1514 or 1517. The first one is of the same sitter as a younger woman than the later one.

Bon Appetit