Thursday, December 14, 2017

December 14, 2017 Lunch – Vietnamese Miso Noodle Soup. Dinner – Hamburger Helper and Roasted Vegetable Stew

December 14, 2017 Lunch – Vietnamese Miso Noodle Soup. Dinner – Hamburger Helper and Roasted Vegetable Stew

For breakfast I ate my usual yogurt, milk, blueberries, and granola.

I got hungry at around 11:15 so began cooking my usual soup these days.  I filled a three guard pot 3/4full of water and added chicken stock, a pho seasoning cube and 2 tsp. of dehydrated dashi.  Then I began adding ingredients; seaweed strands, bok choy, three sliced mushrooms, about 3 oz. of baked chicken, five shrimp, three types of noodles (wheat, bean thread, and 30 mm rice noodle squares) and then a heaping T. of red miso, plus sesame oil and Chinese rice cooking wine.

Then when the soup was ready I chopped two green onions and to each bowl of soup I added a handful of fresh mung bean sprouts to each bowl of soup.

I ate two bowls of soup and had soup left to eat tomorrow.

I started cooking dinner at 6:00.  I wanted to make a brown sauce to emulsify the dry hamburger helper and roasted vegetables.  I looked at a brown sauce recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  Basically it called for cooking a mirapoix in butter, adding flour and the brown stock.  Luckily, there was a bottle of turkey stock.  I also used some beef consommé concentrate.  I sautéed 3 oz. Of celery and red onion and 1 T.  of fresh parsley in three T. of butter.  After 6 minutes I added 1 heaping T. of flour and cooked it a couple of minutes and then adde 1 Roma tomato diced.  I then sautéed the vegetable another couple of minutes.  I then added about 2 to 3 T. of sweet Madeira.  Then I added about a cup of turkey stock and then after mixing the sauce, I added the hamburger helper and roasted vegetables.  I then added about 2 T. of tomato paste., 1 tsp. Of dried marjoram, a dash of salt band white pepper, another dash of Madeira and then two large handfuls of fresh spinach.  After cooking the stew for a couple of minutes, I plated the stew and heated it with a slice of Cloud Cliff Bakery Whole Wheat bread and a glass of 2015 Cherry Blossom California Pinot Noir, my new favorite inexpensive Pinot Noir priced at $4.99 at Trader Joe’s.  It has a very characteristic Pinot flavor and elegant with a smooth finish. I recommend it, a lot.

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This dinner proved that one can convert a mediocre meal into a delicious dinner by binding the ingredients into a stew with a great sauce.

Bon Appetit

December 13, 2017 Lunch – East Ocean. Dinner – a one bowl dinner of PPI Bobby Flay Chicken, Fried Tofu and Mixed Vegetables, and steamed spinach with sesame sauce

December 13, 2017 Lunch – East Ocean. Dinner – a one bowl dinner of PPI Bobby Flay Chicken, Fried Tofu and Mixed Vegetables, and steamed spinach with sesame sauce

I wanted to ride today, so I had a big breakfast of a bagel smeared with goat cheese and garnished with slices of red onion and Gravad Lax and two eggs over easy with grilled red onion.

I loved it although it was a bit too filling.  That actually turned out okay, because Peter Eller e mailed me inviting me go to lunch at 1:00, so I did not get hungry by then.

After going to the bank and then delivering money to Jody for the car repairs he did to the mini, we actually did not get to East Ocean until almost 2:00.  Our goal was to see if there is a new strategy about ordering, now that lunch menu prices have been raised $2.00 to $3.00.  Peter consoled me by saying, “It seems completely justified.”  I admitted that he was correct.

When we arrived we perused the menu, comparing prices on the main menu to those on the lunch menu.  I reached an easy decision because the price of my favorite vegetarian dish on the main menu, Fried Tofu with Mixed Vegetables, had not changed.  It was still $7.95, which was particularly satisfying because MixedVegetables were exactly what I used to get with chicken as Moo Goo Gai Pan on the lunch menu  for $5.95 and Moo Goo Gai Pan has been removed as a choice on the lunch menu.  Not all prices on the main menu remained the same.  For example, the price of many meat dishes like another favorite, roasted ½ duck, had been increased by two dollars.

Peter had a more difficult decision but settled on Sizzling Chicken in Black Bean Sauce for $11.95.

The dinner portions are significantly larger than those on the lunch menu, so there is lots of leftovers to take home and the prices of items on the lunch menu are now $7.50 to $8.95.

We enjoyed lunch and each filled a carry out box with about ½ of the large platter of each dish.  So the result is that the new strategy is to order a dish from the mauling menu that is not much more than the new lunch price and get more quantity..

I meditated from 6:00 to 7:00.  When I got home I wanted an easy dinner without a lot of prep.  I lay a bed of fresh spinach on the bottom of a pasta bowl.  I then lay a PPI Bobby Flay Chicken thigh on one side of the bowl and the Fried Tofu and Mixed Vegetables left over from lunch on the other side of the bowl.  Then I covered the pasta bowl with Saran and re-heated it in the microwave.  While the dinner was re-heating, I made a cup of green tea.  I ate dinner while watching Rachel Maddow and then sent out invitations to our Christmas Eve Open House while listening to Lawrence O’Donnell and Brian William’s shows.  Most of the commentary centered on considering the consequences of the democratic victory in the senate seat race in Alabama and the politics surrounding the tax bill in Congress.

After a bowl of pistachios and a cup of tea with a chocolate at 10:00 I went to bed to blog but fell asleep pretty quickly and slept until almost 5:00.

The single dish dinner was a bit of a mishmash of flavors as the sesame sauce on the spinach combines with the Brown sauce on the Mixed Vegetables and the paprika and cumin rub on the Bobby Flay chicken.

I poured the remained sauce onto the PPI Hamburger stir fry and roasted vegetables that was too dry, which should help its flavor by making it more saucy and flavorful.  We shall see in a day or two, when I heat the hamburger helper with spinach and the rest of the sesame sauce.

Bon Appetit

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

December 12, 2017 Lunch – PPI Vietnamese Miso Noodle Soup and Clam Chowder. Dinner - Hamburger helper with Ground beef, poblano Chile, red onion, garlic, tomatoes, asparagus, and sliced daikon with PPI Roasted Root vegetables.

December 12, 2017 Lunch – PPI Vietnamese Miso Noodle Soup and Clam Chowder. Dinner -  Hamburger helper with Ground beef, poblano Chile, red onion, garlic, tomatoes, asparagus, and sliced daikon with PPI Roasted Root vegetables.

I ate my usual granola, yogurt, milk, and blueberries for breakfast as I watched the market take off again.

Then at 10:90 I went for my semi-annual check up with my doctor today and got a pretty favorable assessment.  I had to wait an hour so did not finish until after 12:00.  I drove home hungry and decided to make a quick lunch by heating the PPI Vietnamese Miso Noodle Soup from yesterday and add a can of clam chowder t it.  The result was very successful. The combination of the two soups produced a light milk base clam chowder with lots of noodles and good meat flavor fro m the pork sausage and slices of beef meatball.

I watch the market finish with a huge ½ point gain on the Dow but my portfolio experienced a much more modest gain of $450.00 as oil and the FANG stocks sank and I had no big winners like the biomedical stocks yesterday.

I napped from 2:40 to 3:40 and the dressed with four layers on top and two on bottom as I watched the first ten minutes of Mad Money and discovered that the Disney acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s movie assets will be approved, which made me want to buy some more Disney stock.

I then rode to Montano and back. When I returned home at 5:15 Suzette was home from her big day at a seminar in Santa Fe and last minute shopping for her trip to Pennsylvania for her dad’s funeral.

I offered to cook dinner.  We had a 1 ½ lb. chunk of ground beef in the fridge, so I decided to make another goulash.  I first diced a small red onion, ½ of a poblano pepper and seven or eight cloves of garlic.

Then I diced three Roma tomatoes.  Willy arrived at this time and I asked him to help by shelling 1/3 cup of peanuts.

I then sautéed the onion and chili in our large cast iron skillet for about ten minutes on moderately high heat while I diced four stalks of PPI steamed asparagus and the PPI daikon slices from our sashimi meal Sunday night.

Then I added the ground beef to the skillet and sautéed the meat until it change to a Grey color and then added the diced tomatoes and cooked them into the mixture and added Mexican oregano, ground cumin and salt and pepper and then the diced asparagus and daikon.  I did not add taco seasoning tonight.

Suzette, “What about adding cheese?” as she handed me the wedge of Pecorino Romano cheese.  I sliced slices of cheese and lay them on top of the mixture in the skillet and let the cheese melt.

When Willy finished shelling the peanuts we roasted them some more in a small non-stick skillet until they were golden brown and then we crushed them with the side of a cleaver and chopped them into pieces with the cleaver blade.  I then sliced an avocado and heated the PPI Roasted Vegetables from last night’s meal and served everything buffet style.

We fetched Modelo beers and had a fresh, hot, hearty meal.  The dish was a little dry, I.e. it lacked a saucy texture, which I attribute to cooking it at a higher heat, which evaporated the cooking liquids.

I liked it almost as much as the one I made last week.

I was really excited that I had gotten control of the threat of diabetes, so I toasted slices of Fano baguette and opened a bottle of Cherry Blossom Pinot Noir (Trader Joe’s for $4.99) and spread Brie cheese on the slices of bread and washed it down with Pinot.

We watched the election returns from Alabama’s special election to fill the seat opened up by Trump’s appointment of Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General and when it became evident that Doug Jones would win at around 8:45 I celebrated by heating a Swedish punch roller and washing it down with a couple of cups of Earl Grey tea with milk.

I have begun thinking about Donald Trump’s world view and tonight I had the strong feeling that Donald Trump and Steve Brannon must be thinking that the Gods are conspiring against them because their  selection of Jeff Sessions for Attorney General did not turn out well and initiated the process which resulted in Mueller’s investigation, got another Democrat in the senate, and increased the pressure on Trump from his sexual misconduct because  they supported a person to replace Sessions who was an alleged sexual predator on young women.

After a wonderful day, I went to bed at 9:20 after Willy left and Doug Jones gave his acceptance speech.

Bon Appetit

P.S. when I wake up during the night as I did tonight I have been drinking cups of hot water with the juice of a sweet lime and a tsp. of  local honey, which helps me clear my nose and throat.  I have become fond of it and will miss the sweet limes when they go out of season.  I bought 4 lb. of them at El Super last Wednesday for $.69/lb., so should have a good supply through the end of the year.

Monday, December 11, 2017

December 11, 2017 Lunch – Polish Dog at Costco. Dinner – Bobby Flay Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

December 11, 2017 Lunch – Polish Dog at Costco.  Dinner – Bobby Flay Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

For breakfast: yogurt, milk, granola, and blueberries and grapes.

At 1:00 I drove to Costco to pick up my prescriptions and I stopped for a Polish Dog for lunch.  Today I slathered it with a bit too much onion and relish and mustard, and catsup, and I loved it with a glass of lemonade.

I wanted Bobby Flay Chicken with roasted vegetables for dinner, so we could use the lovely baby turnips we bought at the Farmers’ market in Las Vegas on Saturday.  I peeled and chopped two Yukon Gold potatoes, three carrots, and a large onion, plus about 1 lb. of Brussels sprouts, three heads of garlic, ½ of a Padilla chili, and three zucchini squash.  Suzette came home just as I was finishing the prep and took over.  She doused the vegetables liberally with olive oil and spread them with salt and pepper and we cooked them covered with aluminum foil for 30 minutes and then uncovered for thirty minutes at a temperature of 375 degrees.

After we put the vegetables into the oven, we started prepping the chicken.  I butchered the six chicken thighs by removing the excess skin, then we made a spice rub of ground cumin, fennel, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.  Suzette then sautéed the chicken in two batches in the large cast iron skillet weighed down with the large non-stick skillet half filled with water.   After the chicken had cooked for ten minutes on each side, she transferred the chicken to a cookie sheet with a raised edge and baked the chicken in the oven with the vegetables for 30 minutes.

Wily arrive at 7:300 just as all the chicken was fully baked, so we dished up dinner and I opened and poured a Spanish La Granja blend of white wine made with Viura and Verdejo grapes.

At the end of the meal Willy reminded us that it was the first night of Hanukkah, so I fetched a chocolate filled cherry for each of us and the cognac and shot glasses for Suzette and me an$ we drank cognac and ate our chocolate and toasted Hanukkah.

Bon Appetit

Sunday, December 10, 2017

December 10, 2017 Breakfast - Chile Relleno Casserole Lunch – Vietnamese Miso Noodle Soup with shrimp Dinner – Sashimi

December 10, 2017 Breakfast - Chile Relleno Casserole   Lunch – Vietnamese Miso Noodle Soup with shrimp   Dinner – Sashimi

Suzette was busy today.  She started by making a Chile Relleno Casserole using her favorite recipe from Colorado Cache Cook Book.  Here is the recipe.

This essentially is a green Chile quiche without a crust.

Suzette made the casserole to take to a luncheon at Carol Glasheim’s Casa Clara, but when she put the casserole she left to examine a Miele coffee maker to perhaps acquire a machine to use parts from.  She was not able to reach a mutually acceptable price.  When Suzette returned I was eating the small casserole she made for me with a cup of sweet lime tea.

When Suzette left for her lunch at 11:00, I decided to go shopping for food.  I started by driving to El Super, where I bought cauliflower, gala apples, a head of Napa cabbage,  and broccoli for $.50/lb., three cucumbers for $.20 each, sweet limes for $.69/lb. mangos for 2 for $.99, crema without salt for $2.17/Lb., 26-30 count shrimp for $6.99/lb., six chicken thighs for $.89/lb., and a bunch of parsley for $.25.

I then drove to Talin and went a little crazy.  We had decided to have sashimi for dinner to use the fresh daikon we bought in Las Vegas yesterday, so I thawed the two tuna steaks I had bought at
Sprouts last week for $5.99/lb. before I left home.  At Talin, I bought squid salad for $3.99 for 5.5 oz. and $2.99 for 5.5 oz. of seaweed salad.  I then bought a piece of salmon for $9.99/lb..  Then I bought a 500 Gran tub of Japanese red miso.  I then decided to buy stuff for more Noodle soups.  I bought egg noodles and bean thread noodles, fresh mung bean sprouts, and beech mushrooms.  I also bought a 150 gram bag of French Herbs de Provence for $8.95 and a box of Japanese matcha green tea powder for $7.85.

Then I drove to Sprouts to buy scallops that were on sale for $8.99/lb., blackberries for $.99/ 6 oz. plastic box.  I also bought a bottle each of red wine and white wine vinegar for $2.49 each and some more green beans for $1.99/lb.

I then went home and unpacked and watched the Cowboys beat Washington Redskins and then rested until 3:30, when I dressed to ride and rode to Rio Bravo.

When I got home I rested and watched Philadelphia beat LA.  I then started dinner by peeling and slicing daikon with the vegetable peeler.

Then I sliced the tuna steak and the piece of salmon and fetched the wasabi and pickled ginger.  Suzette arrived and wanted to steam asparagus.  I placed the seaweed and the squid salads on the table.  Suzette went to the basement to fetch a bottle of sake but it had very little left, so we decided to drink the cold sake chilled in the fridge, a bottle of Mura Premium sake’ being a Junmai Ginjo, which is the best sake I have ever bought (Total Wine $14.99).

Suzette also peeled and diced two avocados she bought on Wednesday at El Super 3 for $.99.

We had a lovely dinner.  I made a cup of green tea.

Suzette went to bed at 9:00 while stayed up to watch the Pittsburgh v. Baltimore game, which was an amazing 39 to 38 come from behind by Pittsburgh.

Bon Appetit

December 9, 2017 Breakfast – Charlie’s in Las Vegas. Lunch – La Choza in Santa Fe. Dinner – nuts and cheese

December 9, 2017 Breakfast – Charlie’s in Las Vegas. Lunch – La Choza in Santa Fe. Dinner – nuts and cheese

We woke at 6:00 and dressed and arrived at Charlie’s at 7:00. Looking at the vast interior of Charlie’s makes me realize that the real estate market in Las Vegas has vast amounts of commercial space that is being rented for very low rents.  The key seems to be adaptive uses that can survive in a low demand market with crumbling infrastructure.  Here are photos of Charlie’s

Suzette got her coffee fix and I drank water to clear my system.  We both ordered Machaca, roast beef, green Chile, onion, and bits of softened corn tortilla and tomato cooked into a cloud of whipped eggs..  I ordered beans with mine and Suzette ordered cottage fries with hers.

After breakfast we drove back to the Montezuma Castle, which used to be a Harvey House located next a hot springs about ten miles out of Las Vegas.  It is now a college.  We visited the Dwan Chapel which has a large number of glass prisms embedded in its ceiling and walls to cascade rainbows of
color throughout the building when the sun shines. Here are a few photos.

We the drove back to the square and spent an hour going to the weekly farmer’s market in the old drug store on one corner of the square, where we bought fresh daikon and turnips, and then the Lady of Sorrow Paris’s Crafts Fair, which was housed in the Palm Ballroom.  Suzette bought several origami paper boxes for $2.00 each and I drank a large chai and blogged in the Coffee shop in the build g connected to the ballroom by a hallway and blogged while Suzette shopped.

Plaza Antiques

                                               The Plaza Hotel

At 10:00 we walked to Plaza Antiques on the West Side of the plaza.  We did not find anything of interest but did ask and were told about another antique store named Rough Rider Antiques located across the street from the old Castaneda Hotel.  The Castaneda Hotel is the old Harvey House beside the railroad station.  It is being remodeled and it’s architecture reminds me of the Alvarado Hotel that used to be located in Albuquerque.  The Rough RiderMuseum is in Las Vegas but we did not see it.  Many of the Rough Riders were recruited in Las Vegas and it held its only reunion in Las Vegas in the 1890’s.  The Rough rider Museum was a large building that has been renovated filled with all types of antiques.  I duped not find a valuable Southwest Modernist Painting, but I did bought a lovely 1943 steel Lincoln head penny in almost uncirculated condition for $1.50 and Suzette bought four more Frankoma wagon wheel plates for $40.00, which takes her from a less than desirable number of 7 plates to a very acceptable total of 11 plates.  We were both thrilled.

We then drove back to Santa Fe to Max and Jane’s House on the far southern end of Cerrilos.  Suzette took the car and went shopping at Restore It, while Max and Jane and I talked.  After talking for a while, we decided to go to lunch.  I suggested La Choza and everyone agreed because Max wanted to show us his house on Quintana he is remodeling.  At La Choza Max ordered Huevos Rancheros, Jane ordered fish tacos with blue corn, and Suzette and I split an enchilada plate with ground beef, red chili, extra onions, and double posole.  Suzette and I each ordered a Negra Modelo.  Jane ordered a ginger ale and Max drank water.

We had a great conversation and caught up on their recent trip to San Miguel de Allende.  After lunch Max drove us to his home on Quintana St. that he is remodeling, which is nearly finished.  My job will be to negotiate the patio of Max’s unpaid mortgage in the foreclosure lawsuit in which I am representing him.

After visiting the house on Quintana, which is located north of Alameda, east of St. Francis, and west
of Guadalupe, we drove back to our car, said goodbye, and drove to Stephen’s Consignment, where I found two lovely framed Christmas ornaments made by Harry Fonseca for $200.00.  Here is a picture of them.

Suzette wanted to go to a consignment shop that Jane mentioned was going out of business near the corner of Siler Rd. and Agua Fria, so after Stephen’s we drove there.  Suzette found four large hand made umbrellas that she will use for decorating the large tent that she sets up in the park at the Center for Ageless Living for special occasions for $125.00.

We then drove back to Albuquerque, filled up the car with gas at Costco, and drove home.

Neither of us was hungry.  We each drank another Negra Modelo to wash down lunch and nibbled on crackers and cheese and peanuts and watched a movie, “The Jane Austen Book Club”.

I had not slept well in Las Vegas, so I went to bed at 9:00.p after a full day.

Bon Appetit

Saturday, December 9, 2017

December 8, 2017 Lunch – PPI Hamburger Helper with Squash and Steamed Spinach with Sesame seed sauce. Dinner – Plaza Hotel, Las Vegas, New Mexico

December 8, 2017  Lunch – PPI Hamburger Helper with Squash and Steamed Spinach with Sesame seed sauce. Dinner – Plaza Hotel, Las Vegas, New Mexico

The usual for breakfast.  I worked until noon.  Then I packed up a few things for our over night to Las Vegas.  When Suzette arrived at 1:00 she said she was hungry, so I made a quick lunch by heating the PPI hamburger and zucchini squash dish from the other evening’s meal plus I steamed a three quart sauce pan filled with fresh spinach, removed it to a bowl and sauced it with a few tablespoons of the PPI sesame seed sauce I made the other night.

We left a little after 1:30 and arrived in Las Vegas at 4:00 p.m.

We dove to the State Hospital for Suzette’s intake evaluation of a prospective client.

After the appointment at around 5:30 we drove to the El Fidel Hotel and checked in.  The hotel is an old 1923 hotel that has not been renovated. In other words, it is funky and little changed from  when it was fully operational.  To give you an idea, we asked if the restaurant was open and were told, “The restaurant closed two months ago”. We had the joy of carrying our bag up two flights of stairs to our room; no bell man in sight.  The good news was that the room was very quiet.  I didn’t hear a sound and assume there were no other guests on our floor, or, perhaps, in the entire hotel.  I saw none.We then drove to the town plaza and went to the Plaza Hotel.  There was lots more happening at the Plaza Hotel.  On one side of the lobby was a full bar with lots of TVs and folks drinking. On the other side of the lobby was the restaurant.  In front of the restaurant was a menu board with three specials.

 The lobby attendant said the restaurant had a good chef, which was enough of a recommendation for me.  We took seats at a table in the restaurant.  Soon a waitress came to take our order for drinks.  We both ordered glasses of wine,  Suzette drank a Sauvignon Blanc with the salmon special with a thyme Lemon sauce on a bed of diced and roasted butternut squash with onion and dried cranberries and a red onion, celery, Middle Eastern cucumber slices, and radish slaw for $22.00. I ordered a 12 oz. grilled Ribeye steak with pan fried blue and white fingerling potato wedges and calabacitas (diced zucchini squash, onion, green chili, and corn kernels) for $26.00.  I drank a glass of old vines Zinfandel.  We loved our meal.


We were tired so we returned to our room at 7:30 and after a glass of port and a Hershey chocolate nugget, went to bed.

Bon Appetit