Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October 31, 2017 Lunch – Java Joe’s Dinner – Sautéed Teriyaki Salmon, Rice, and Garlic Eggplant

October 31, 2017 Lunch – Java Joe’s   Dinner – Sautéed Teriyaki Salmon, Rice, and Garlic Eggplant

Today I skipped breakfast and met Sally at Bill Turner’s office for lunch and a discussion of a case.

Sally said, I would like to go to Java Joe’s because they have my favorite coffee and chili in downtown.”

I gladly agreed.

When we arrived and was perusing the menu I saw lots of interesting items, but again Sally came to my assistance, when she said, “My favorite item is a Breakfast Burrito with bacon and Christmas chili.”

I needed only to say, “Make that two.” when the attendant asked me what I wanted.

It was delicious.  I am particularly fond of dishes like this breakfast burrito that have soft ingredients inside, are wrapped with a soft tortilla, with an outside smothered with red and green chili and melted cheese, the result of which is to create a soft pastry like texture soaked in sauce, cheese, and eggs.  I drank water and enjoyed lunch immensely.

Breakfast Burrito with Christmas Chili

I worked until 4:00, watched a bit of Mad Money (Cramer officially announced that we are in a bull market.), and at 4:30 rode with Suzette to Rio Bravo and back.

When we returned we prepared for Halloween trick or treaters and I chopped a head of garlic cloves, peeled and julienned an eggplant, and prepared a cup of basmati rice, as I alternated with Suzette handing out treats to kids.  Suzette was having fun asking kids, “Who is the President of the American Virgin Islands?  And telling those who gave the correct answer, “You are smarter than our President.

I stir fried the eggplant strips and made the seasoning sauce for the garlic eggplant dish.

Then at 7:30 we shut down the candy giving after having given about 300 pieces out and finished cooking dinner.

Suzette took over the wok duties and sautéed the garlic, then added the eggplant, and finally made a well in the middle of the eggplant and added the seasoning sauce and stirred everything together.

I heated peanut oil and sesame oil in a large skillet and when it was hot lay the salmon filet in the skillet belly side down.  After ten minutes of cooking I flipped the filet so that the skin outer side was down and cooked it another 7 or 8 minutes.

When the salmon was ready we each took pieces and some of the garlic eggplant dish.  I laid mine on the warm basmati rice, while Suzette heated the PPI grilled chayote and sweet potato slices and ate her salmon and eggplant with the PPI chayote and sweet potato.

Our neighbor .Sandy Buffet's house


We watched the World Series until the seventh inning stretch at 9:00 and then crawled into bed.  I watched the game to its conclusion, while Suzette dozed off.

Bon Appetit

October 30, 2017 Lunch – Clam Chowder with sardines in Tomato sauce. Dinner – Grilled steak, chayote, and sweet potatoes with Sautéed Mushrooms

October 30, 2017 Lunch – Clam Chowder with sardines in Tomato sauce.  Dinner – Grilled steak, chayote, and sweet potatoes with Sautéed Mushrooms

I ate yogurt, granola, milk, and tropical fruit salad for breakfast.

I was in the mood for a soup at lunch so I opened a can of Progresso clam chowder and wanted a few more clams.  I looked in the tins of canned fish and found an unmarked can that I thought might be clams, but turned out to be sardines or mackerel filets in tomato sauce.  The combination of oil and tomato was a pleasant addition to the rather bland clamless soup.  I added ½ can of milk to thin out the soup’s viscosity and removed the backbones from the sardine or mackerel filets.  I enjoyed the soup but feared for my life as I read an article on how Allergen uses a botulism toxin to make its famous drug, Botox.

I lived.

At 4:00 I decided to take an early end from work and watched Mad Money.  I was interested to see what Jim Crramer would say about the Fang stocks, since I had just had a historic run in both Apple and Facebook that lead to an approximately $23,000 gain on Friday and a $5,000 gain today.  As it turned out he said the most prescient statement in the morning Squawk on the Street show that short sellers had driven Apple down with stories of lack of demand for components from vendors for the Model X phone last week that turned out to be false.  Apple surged approximately $10.00 per share in the last two days, as factual reality that order demand for the phone exceeded supply capacity became known.   I am heavily invested in the market and today when GE was hammered down to below $20.50 in the selling pressure of a down market, I bought 400 more shares at $20.54.  We shall see if new management can return the company to its historic position of prominence.  He is one of the last members of the original 12 stocks in the DOW and controls ½ of the power generating equipment market in the world, so there is hope if it can execute in that traditional market to regain its growth trajectory.  At the beginning of the year GE was $32.00, so it has been on a long downward slide and is the worst performing stock in the DOW this year.  The question is, When has it become oversold?

I made teriyaki sauce for the remaining salmon filet in the afternoon and added it to the salmon filet in the fridge.  Then at 6:00 when Suzette came home I peeled and sliced two chayote and the sweet potatoes.  We decided to start cooking at 6:30 and while Suzette salted and peppered the two rib steaks we had thawed and heated the grill, I sliced ½ lb. of white mushrooms, a couple of cloves of garlic, a shallot and went to the garden and picked two sprigs of tarragon and five or six sprigs of thyme and removed their leaves from their stems.

Then when Willy arrived I melted butter and sautéed the ingredients until the steak and chayote and sweet potatoes were grilled and added about 2 T. of Amontillado sherry to the mushrooms to make a light sauce.  As it turned out Suzette cooked the steaks to medium in the high wind and darkness, which was fine for Willy and me, but she is more of a rare person. In the case of tonight’s steaks, the overcooking was not harmful to their tenderness because they were heavily marbled with large areas of fat and they retained their tenderness as that fat cooked.

I opened a bottle of Chateau Haut Sorrillon Bordeaux Superiore ($6.99 at Trader Joe’s), which was a clean red wine and more than worth the money.  I am determined to buy more wines at Trader Joe’s and fewer wines at Total Wine, because the wines at Total Wines are often over priced and it pushes up the prices  of its better selling wines like the drug companies do, and I hate that.

For example I bought a bottle of a Spanish 2014 Montebuena Crianza for $9.59 less 20% in February that was marked up to $11.49 less 20% last weekend.  The only reason I continue to shop at Total Wines is  because the less popular wines that typically cost more often stay the same price like the Le Pont Bandol Rose’ that continues to cost $20.00 less 20%, which is our favorite French rose.

We enjoyed dinner and the wine.  I thought the grilled sweet potatoes and chayote were especially delicious tonight and it was fun, in a primordial way, to eat a hardy meal of grilled meat and vegetables as the wind howled outside.

Suzette ate a bowl of the poached Quince and fruits she made last night with yogurt for dessert.  I gnawed the meat off the charred bones with the last of the mushrooms and wine, so I passed on dessert.

We watched the latest Bill Maher show and then the latest John Oliver show on HBO and then we said goodnight to Willy at a little after 9:00.

I forgot to include the artichokes among the grilled vegetables, but that would have been too many grilled things it seems.

Bon Appetit

Monday, October 30, 2017

October 29, 2017 Lunch – PPI Bobby Flay Chicken,Mango Salsa and Coleslaw.   Dinner – Poached salmon with mashed potatoes, Steamed Asparagus and a Dill and Mustard Cream Sauce

I ate yogurt, granola, milk, and tropical fruit while watching the news.

Then we worked in the garden for an hour.

A little after noon we heated several pieces of the PPI Bobby Flay chicken and ate them with PPI Mango Salsa and Coleslaw in the garden in the warm sunlight.

We then rode the tandem to Campbell Rd.  and back, showered, and visited a house in the north valley that a friend of Suzette’s was trying to convert into an assisted living center.

We peeled quinces in the morning and when we came home until dinner.

When Willy came around 6:45 we started cooking.  I cut three filets from the larger filet.  Then Willy peeled several russet potatoes and then we boiled them and Suzette mashed the potatoes while I snapped the ends off 18 stalks of asparagus and put them into the steamer.

Cream Sauce

We decided to show Willy how to make a cream sauce with fish stock.

I chopped about 1/3 cup of fresh dill and two small cloves of garlic.

Then, Suzette made a poaching medium with white wine, butter, water, and the garlic and dill in a deep sided skillet.  She then poached the salmon filets with the skillet covered with the wok cover.

In a separate enamel coated sauce pan I melted two T. of butter and  added two T. of flour and a Tsp. of German mustard and cooked them together for three minutes to make a roux.

Then Suzette added the strained poaching liquid and stirred up it in.  The sauce was too thick, so we added milk to thin the sauce to the proper creaminess.  She then steamed the asparagus.

I had gone to the cellar and fetched a bottle of 2014 Gruet Chenin Blanc and chilled it.  When Suzette assembled the plates, I opened and poured glasses of wine.  Chenin Blanc is Suzette’s favorite grape.  She finished the bottle during dinner and asked, “Are there more bottles?”

Willy really liked the dish.  The cream sauce with its slightly garlic and mustard and dill flavor was delicious with all three ingredients.

I mentioned that the first time I ate salmon with a mustard cream sauce was in Sweden in 1970 when my then boss at Karlsgren’s Revisionbyra in Gothenburg, Sweden took me to lunch at a fine seafood restaurant.  It was lovely then with boiled and buttered new potatoes, just as it was tonight with mashed potatoes.

After dinner a Suzette made several pots full of poached quince and canned them in Mason jars.  Here is that recipe.

Stewed Quince Dessert
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This quince dessert is a great sweet recipe for Autumn, made with semi-sweet quinces, raisins an lots of delicious flavors!
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6+

  • 3 quinces
  • 3 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp rice flour, mixed with 50 ml of water
  • 50g sucanat or brown sugar
  • ½ tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 3 tbsp raisins
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp rum extract
  • pinch of sea salt
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  1. Put 100ml of water in a small bowl. Pour sucanat/sugar and stir until dissolved.
  2. Chop quinces in bite-size pieces; remove the inner, hard core.
  3. Add oil in another pan. Pour the sucanat sauce. Add chopped quinces.
  4. Boil for 10 minutes over medium heat. Add more water if needed.
  5. Add a pinch of sea salt, dissolved flour, cinnamon, ground cloves, raisins, vanilla and rum extracts.
  6. Boil for another 5 minutes. Don't forget to stir continuously to avoid burning the sauce.
  7. Serve either hot or cold.
Stewed Quince Dessert Recipe

For dessert I ate some of the poached fruit with a scoop of yogurt while we watched the exciting game 5 of the World Series.  If Houston wins the Series, this game will be remembered as the turning point and a tribute to their determination and batting.

Bon Appetit

Sunday, October 29, 2017

October 28, 2017 Brunch – an egg, bagel with Lax and cream cheese sandwich. Dinner – Open face Fish Tacos with coleslaw and mango avocado salsa

October 28, 2017  Brunch – an egg, bagel with Lax and cream cheese sandwich. Dinner – Open face Fish Tacos with coleslaw and mango avocado salsa

What a strange day.  It started out well enough.  We peeled and Suzette poached a box of about fifteen quinces.  She poached the cored and peeled Quince in wine, sugar and water.

Suzette made a lax and cream cheese sandwich on a fried scrambled egg.  I toasted ½ of a bagel and made a Lax sandwich on the bagel by smearing it with cream cheese, laying on thin slices of red onion, and then slices of Lax and then the fried egg.  Suzette garnished the sandwiches with capers.

Suzette also made cole slaw with carrots, cabbage, onions, and mayo for dinner.  We had decided to buy some salmon on sale at Albertson’s and make fish tacos with the tail section.

We first dumped our empty bottles at the recycling center just north of the convention center and drove to Trader Joe’s where we bought artichokes, deodorant, chocolate, hand cream, and six or seven bottles of wine.

We then drove to Total Wine and bought scotch and Calvados at a 10% discount and four bottles of wine for which there was no discount.  We then went next door to the Uptown Bar and watched a horrible football game played by TCU with the TCU alumni association members.  Suzette and I ate horrible fried calamari strips, onion rings and fried sweet potatoes and drank s beer.  Suzette left me and drove to Goodwill, Sprouts Market to buy golden sultana raisins for poaching more Quince and then to Albertsons to buy a beautiful filet of Atlantic farm raised salmon for $5.97/lb. when she returned the game was almost over and we left when Kenny Hill threw his second interception near the end of the losing effort by TCU.

I wanted to get the 20% discount on wines at Total Wines so we went back and chose eight more wines to make a case of 12 in order to obtain the discount.  Buying wine at Total Wine is a really difficult thing to do, because it is hard to know which wines are inferior but have been marked up versus those that merit their price.  Thank goodness Suzette has an app on her phone that connects to grading and tasting notes and reviews, so we were able to find some good wines hopefully.

The wines are good at Trader Joe’s but the selection is quite limited.  The trick at Total Wine is to find good wines at a decent price.  Since the prices at Total .Wine start at almost double those of Trader Joe’s one is trying to find a better or different wine than those offered at Trader Joe’s that is worth the money.  The good thing about Total Wine is that there is a vastly greater selection, so if one is willing to spend the time one can find legitimately interesting wines for decent prices.  Sometimes you just must pay the higher price for a better wine.  For example, our favorite rose’ is Le Pont.  It is a Bandol rose’ that costs $20 at Total Wine and we think it is a good value at $16.00 after the discount.  We bought a bottle of it today.

I also bought a decent Chablis for about the same price because these special wines are simply not available regularly at Trader Joe's and they tend to be even more expensive at good wine shops like Jubilation.

The wines we are buying tend to be the less expensive wines of major wine regions.  Jubilation and Total Wine have much higher prices on the more famous wines such as premier crus.

We then drove home and after a stiff drink we decided to make a mango salsa to go with the fish

I diced two small avocados, 2 oz. of red onion, about ¼ cup of cilantro leaves, 2 oz. of Padilla chili, a clove of garlic, a tomato, and a mango and squeezed the juice of a lime into it and Suzette added about 1 tsp. of salt.

Suzette heated several tortillas wrapped in wet paper towels in the steaming oven and fried about ½ lb. of diced salmon in about ¼ inch deep canola oil until golden brown at the edges.  We then laid two tortillas on a plate and spread a layer of the mango salsa on and then laid pieces of salmon on that and garnished the salmon with coleslaw to make open faced tacos.

The tacos were fabulous.  The avocados and mango were ripe so the salsa was delicious and so was the coleslaw and they both went well with the fresh sautéed salmon. A simple wonderful meal.

Suzette drank a Fat Tire beer with her dinner and I drank one of the French apple ciders we had bought at Trader Joe’s for $4.99.

We watched the Dodgers tie the World Series at 2 games each and then went to bed.

Bon Appetit

Saturday, October 28, 2017

October 27, 2017 Lunch – Salad. Dinner – Bobby Flay Chicken Thighs with Ratatouille

October 27, 2017 Lunch – Salad. Dinner – Bobby Flay Chicken Thighs with Ratatouille

I made a salad for lunch  and then went to El Super to do some grocery shopping.  I saw and bought four fresh Ataulfo mangoes and then decided to buy a pineapple, and a papaya for fruit salad.  I also bought some queso fresco, pears, sweet potatoes, eggs, 6 small avocados, some ginger root, a few limes, a bunch of green onions, some yellow and zucchini squash, Padilla chilis, and 8 chicken thighs.

At 5:00 we went to Gruet to meet folks for drinks but when they could not make it we went home and decided to make the Bobby Flay recipe for sautéing chicken rubbed with ground cumin and paprika in a pan weighed down with a smaller pan filled with water and served with a mint sauce.  I went to the garden and picked fresh mint and chopped 1 cup of fresh mint and then about 2 oz. of fresh Padilla chili and Suzette made the mint sauce in the cuisinart.

We heated the PPI ratatouille and ate some with the crisp chicken.

This is one of my favorite ways to eat chicken and I ate three pieces.

Suzette suggested a light red, so I went to the basement and found a 2004 Marques de Caceres Crianza from Rioja.  When we opened it, it was drinkable but it had a slightly odd flavor like it had been aged too long ad the cork was almost dried out and we had to push it into the bottle, so we had to decant it through a strainer to remove the small pieces of cork.

I ate a couple of pieces of chocolate after dinner with the last glass of wine.

Bon Appetit

Friday, October 27, 2017

October 26, 2017 Lunch – Amerasia. Dinner – Onion Dip and Potato chips at Book Club

October 26, 2017 Lunch – Amerasia.  Dinner – Onion Dip and Potato chips at Book Club

I feel like I am in a blessed space at the moment.  I woke up this morning; perhaps due to the moments of clarity in meditation last night or perhaps due to Tom Boyd taking a moment of his time to show me  how easy it was to send images and messages and prepare invoices on his phone, with the thought that I had to sell JD and buy Square.  So when the market opened at 7:30 our time, after I had eaten a bowl of biodynamic yogurt, fruit salad, and granola, I sold my 300 shares of JD for just about what I paid for it and bought 500 shares of Square at $32.91.  By the end of the day Square had gone up by $1.21 (3.4%) and JD went down $1.28 (3.4%), representing a $1074 divergence.  Better yet I had gotten rid of a stock I did not want and bought a stock I really liked and been more or less instantly rewarded or validated for my acumen.  Moves of 3.4% are huge on a day that the Dow only went up .31% and the Nasdaq moved down .11%.  Thank you Tom or the Buddha.

It was a rather dull food day, except I was able to share a good dim sun lunch with Aaron at Amerasia.  I arrived at noon and ordered BBQ pork filled steamed buns and took a bowl of stuffed tofu in broth from the cart.   When Aaron arrived after I called him to invite him to join me for lunch, a few minutes later we took a plate with three chicken and peanut stuffed dumplings, a bowl of rice and spicy pork, and a plate of three beef and water chestnut filled dumplings.  Amerasia is my favorite dim sun restaurant because I have been going to it for over thirty years and it us one block from Wells Fargo bank, so I can make a deposit and then get a quick delicious lunch without having to drive much.

After lunch at 2:00 we met with Karim at his new building on Central, which houses a pita shop and met with him and Gabriel until about 3:45.

I went home and rode to Rio Bravo and back with a Suzette in the warm afternoon sun.  We made the ride in less than an hour because the wind was dead calm and thus we were able to maintain a strong steady rhythm.

After I took a shower I picked up Charlie and we drove to book club at Dick Arms house in Four Hills for our meeting to discuss Song of the Sirens by Ernest Gann, the writer of the book and screenplay for the High and the Mighty, about the years of his life spent owning and sailing boats.

The most interesting food at book club was onion dip and an oddly twisted potato chip by Lay’s, several dips of which sufficed for my supper with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.

After our discussion we eat a dessert.  Dick’s daughter had baked a lovely apple crisp that he served with vanilla ice cream.

Then home to bed.

Bon Appetit

October 25, 2017 Lunch – East Ocean. Dinner – PPI Pork BBQ ribs with Cabbage, and Ratatouille

October 25, 2017  Lunch – East Ocean. Dinner – PPI Pork BBQ ribs with Cabbage, and Ratatouille

The most important thing today was not the food, which was unremarkable, but occurred during meditation.  I was dozing off and then would come back into consciousness in moments of acute clarity.  Clarity that was devoid of any superfluous everyday thoughts, just pure awareness that I usually only dream of.  I loved it. This happened two or three time in the course of a fifteen minute sitting and it was wonderful.

Breakfast was yogurt, granola, and fruit and fruit juice, that form of biodynamic granola I like the best because of the absence of milk.

Lunch was the usual at East Ocean but with Suzette.  I ordered Moo Goo Gai Pan and she ordered sweet and sour pork and an egg roll.

We packed some of each and she ate it for dinner.

I ate two pieces of nine grain bread toast at 4:00, one smeared with Cambozola cheese and the other with peanut butter and honey with a cup of tea with milk.  It reminded me of how I used to spend afternoons sitting with friends in Sweden or Denmark back in my exchange student days, except I was working at my desk.

When I arrived home a little before 7:00 I heated the last two PPI BBQ ribs, with some of the PPI cabbage with apples and ratatouille and drank the last two glasses of Famille Perrin Cotes Du Rhone Reserve red blend of Syrah and Grenache and watched the World Series and ate a few pieces of chocolate until the end of the 9th inning when the Astros tied the score at 3 a piece when I went to bed.

It is amazing what one can accept with even just a little clarity.  I felt no anxiety to know how the game ended; I simply wanted to respond to my need for sleep.  It seemed that my mind was cleared of my usual reaction to the stream of thoughts.

Also, Tom Boyd of Shook Mechanical came this morning and adjusted and turned on the boiler for the hot water heating system and opened all the dampers on all the radiators.  The house started heating up in just a few minutes and I look forward to being comfortably warm all winter.

Bon Appetit

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

October 19, 2017. Lunch – Anatolia. Dinner – Sautéed Teriyaki Salmon, New Recipe Chef Bob’s squash custard, and Forbidden Black rice

October 19, 2017. Lunch – Anatolia. Dinner – Sautéed Teriyaki Salmon, New Recipe   Chef Bob’s squash custard, and Forbidden Black rice

I made a lamb, spinach, tomato, onion, and cheese omelet for breakfast.

I went with Bill to lunch today.  We walked the six blocks to Anatolia.  Bill ordered dolmas and I ordered the daily special with no rice and double salad.  It took a while to cook my lunch because the chicken shish kebab is cooked to order, but when it came I was pleased with the tender marinated chicken, skewered and cooked over the open flame on a bed of Middle Eastern salad $6.99 plus tax.  Bill spoke some Turkish with the waitress and ordered a beer. Bill learned some Greek and Turkish in the 60s when he  was in the peace corp on Cyprus.

After lunch I read and took a 45 minute nap and then a little after 4:00 rode to Rio Bravo.

After I returned at 5:22 and showered, I started dinner.  I had decided to make a squash custard to go with the salmon and black rice.

Chef Bob’s Squash Custard

I adapted the recipe for Chef John’s Corn Custard by substituting squash and onion for the corn. Here is his recipe.

I thinly sliced a zucchini squash and a yellow squash that amounted to two cups of squash.  I thinly sliced 1/3 of a medium red onion and 12 sage leaves sliced into thin strips I ended up with about 2 1/3 cups of sliced vegetables. This can be done ahead of cooking.

When ready to cook the dish I melted two T. of butter in a medium Pyrex baking dish in the microwave and swirling the melted butter around the baking dish to coat the sides of the dish.  I then poured the approximately 1 ½ T. of butter into a large non-stick surface skillet.

I sautéed the squash, onion, and Sage with ½ tsp. of salt until tender.
While the vegetables were sautéing, In a separate bowl I whisked three eggs, 1 ½ cups of heavy cream, ½ cup of whole milk, a couple dashes of white pepper, a couple of dashes each of red pepper and smoked Spanish paprika, and 1 tsp. of salt.

Suzette came to the kitchen and set the oven at 350 degrees on a convection setting to pre-heat the oven.

Then I poured the sautéed vegetables into the custard mixture and mixed all the ingredients for a few seconds until they mixed.  I then poured the custard mix into the buttered Pyrex baking dish and placed it on the bottom rack in the oven and set the timer for thirty minutes.

Sautéed Teriyaki Salmon

Since it was clean I used the same large skillet I had used to sauté the vegetables for the custard to sauté the teriyaki salmon .  I added two T. of peanut oil and three of four dashes of sesame oil.  I diced four small cloves of garlic and five shall slices of ginger root and added them to the oil and heated the skillet and cooked the ginger and garlic a bit.

I took the marinating salmon from the fridge on was able to place both pieces of the filet in the skillet
inside face down on the skillet.  I sautéed the salmon at high heat for about five minutes inside face down.  Then I flipped each piece of the filet so that the outer skin side was down in the oil.

Willy arrived a little after 7:00 and he said he wanted his salmon well cooked so I reduced the heat a bit to avoid scorching the skin and let the salmon cook about ten minutes with its skin side down.

While the salmon was cooking I filled a pitcher with sake and placed the pitcher in a small pot half filled with water on the stove at a medium heat to heat the pitcher of sake.  After ten minutes in the simmering water bath (Bain Marie) the sake was starting to bubble, so I reduced the heat to keep it warm.

I asked Willy what kind of tea he wanted with the salmon and when he did not show a preference I selected the lychee tea I bought in the Asian market in  Xian, China and placed two tsp. of tea into a round metal ball that would fit through the lid of our tea pot.  I heated water and brewed a pot of tea.

Finally I took the plastic sandwich bag filled with the PPI black forbidden rice from Sunday’s meal in Taos and heated it for 1:23 minutes in the microwave.

I set the table with small tea cups for sake and large tea cups for tea and Suzette set the table with silverware and heated the stoneware  teapot by filling it with hot water and letting it sit for a few minutes.

When the salmon was cooked to everyone’s satisfaction, I used a plastic spatula to cut the salmon filet into pieces.  Willy and a Suzette chose pieces of the thinner well cooked tail section and I chose a piece from the more moist belly section.  I poured cups of sake and tea and we each served ourselves spoonfuls of squash custard warm from the oven.  Willy and I served ourselves some of the forbidden black rice and we feasted.

Both the custard And the rice had delicate textures while the salmon that had been sautéed until the surfaces were crisped had a firmer texture on the outside and a soft texture on the inside.

The warm sake and tea made the meal of uniform warmth, which was nice as all the different textures and flavors coalesced into a fog of food flavors.

I did not have any desire for a dessert or after dinner drink and we went to bed spat 9:00 shortly after Suzette filled and started the dishwasher and put up the PPI salmon, custard and rice.

Bon Appetit

October 24, 2017. Lunch – East Ocean Dinner – PPI Pork Spare Ribs, Steamed Asparagus, and Braised Cabbage with Apple

October 24, 2017. Lunch – East Ocean  Dinner – PPI Pork Spare Ribs, Steamed Asparagus, and Braised Cabbage with Apple

I woke up at 7:00 and decided to have a hot chocolate coffee in bed and watch the Squawk on the Street show since it was going to be a good day on the market from bed.

I then showered and worked until 11:15 when I drove to East Ocean for lunch.  I called Mike when I got there and he joined me for lunch.  I asked him what he wanted and ordered Kung Pao Chicken with steamed rice for him.  I ordered my new usual, Moo Goo Gai Pan with sweet and Sour chicken and no rice.  My dish was missing the water chestnuts today so after a few minutes I sent it back to the chef to add the water chestnuts.  The chef graciously reheated what was left with water chestnuts.

                                           Moo Goo Gai Pan with sweet and sour chicken

Mike told me he was going back to Milwaukee until after Christmas on Tuesday and that La Salita was going to open up in its new location on Juan Tabo on Monday, so we agreed tentatively to meet for lunch at their Grand Opening on Monday.

I also invited him to join us for ribs and the first game of the World Series this evening.

I went home after lunch and worked from 1:00 until 4:00 and then watched Mad Money until Suzette arrived at 4:30, at which time we rode to Montano and back at a good pace, making it back in about an hour.

At 6:30 we began cooking. I snapped the ends off 18 stalks of asparagus and Suzette put them into a steamer with water.

Suzette began re-heating the PPI rack of BBQ ribs in the steamer oven while I shredded 1/2 Head of green cabbage and then cored and diced two apples.  I put the cabbage into the large skillet that was heating with the butter and olive oil Suzette had placed in it. We shared turns stirring and turning the cabbage.  Suzette seasoned it with salt and pepper and apple cider vinegar and I added the diced apples and ground cumin, so it took on a ambiguously German/Hungarian flavor.

                                                     The racks of BBQ'd Ribs

Finally, Suzette steamed the asparagus for about 8 minutes, so that when Mike arrived punctually at 7:30 everything was ready. I sliced the warmed ribs into individual bone-in slices and we each served ourselves cabbage and six asparagus each.  Suzette and I drank a New Belgium Fat Tire beer and Mike drank water with the meal.

We watched L.A. Beat the Astros in record time and then discussed dessert.

We decided to give Mike the last piece of Tart Tatin and Suzette and I would eat a bowl of Poached Quince with yogurt.  Suzette warmed the desserts and Mike chose whipped cream to garnish his Tart.  I poured sniffers of Calvados for Mike and me and cognac for Suzette and we enjoyed our dessert.

Mike said goodnight a bit after 9:00 and we went to bed shortly thereafter.

I felt like the day was filled with a balanced schedule of sleep, exercise, and food.

Bon Appetit

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

October 23, 2017 Lunch – Lamb Salad. Dinner – Grilled Lamb with Sautéed Potatoes, piñon nuts, cranberries, apple, and spinach.

October 23, 2017 Lunch – Lamb Salad. Dinner – Grilled Lamb with Sautéed Potatoes, piñon nuts, cranberries, apple, and spinach.

I ate yogurt, granola, milk, and tropical fruit salad for breakfast.

I made a lamb salad for lunch.  I warmed a slice of lamb from the meal with the relatives in Taos Sunday a week ago and added it to salad of de-stemmed and chopped Romaine leaves, a diced tomato, 1/3 of a cucumber diced, a handful of grated Parmesan-Romano cheese, and 1 oz. of thinly sliced onion plus some Kalamata olives.  I dressed the salad with the dressing I had made by adding olive oil to the Tzatziki I made Saturday a week ago for the lamb meal.

I also toasted a slice of Cloud Cliff Whole wheat bread and made a cheese sandwich by melting a few slices of Manchego cheese on it for 19 seconds.

Lamb salad
After lunch I was looking for hamburger patties, but all I could find was four lamb chops so I thawed those out while I went to an appointment.

I returned at 4:00 and the wind was gusting so I worked at my desk until Suzette came home around 5:30.

I had called a Willy and invited him for dinner at 6:30. At 6:15 when he arrived we started cooking.  We had a simple plan; to grill the lamb chops and to sauté some of the PPI Roasted Potato medley with the PPI cabbage and onion dish Billy made last Sunday with piñon nuts, spinach, and apples like the Catalan Spinach dish.  Suzette started sautéing the potatoes while I cored and sliced and diced a gala apple and added the pieces to the sauté.  Then I destemmed about three cups of spinach.  Then I spun the spinach she had rinsed in cold water and added it to the skillet to sauté with the potatoes.  She then covered the large skillet with the wok cover to steam the spinach.  I rehydrated small handful of dried cranberries in warm water and added them to the sauté while Suzette grilled the lamb chops and set the table on the patio next to the newly installed patio furniture under the portal.

W hen Suzette brought in the grilled lamb chops, we plated our plates with the vegetable sauté and a lamb chop and Willy lighted the candles on the candelabra and Suzette lighted three votive candles
on the table and there was sufficient light to eat and even feel the warm glow of light at the table.

We enjoyed the warm night and conversation which flowed more easily at our table in its new location on the patio next to the newly purchased patio set now placed where the table once stood.

After dinner we went back inside and I made a cup of chai for Willy and me and then he went to his soccer match and we watched the Antiques Roadshow and ate warmed slices of Tart Tatin garnished with Reddi whip whipped cream.

Bon Appetit

Monday, October 23, 2017

October 22, 2017 Brunch – Salmon, cheese, and Potato omelet Lunch – bagel with cream cheese and Lax. Dinner at Debbie and Jeff’s house

October 22, 2017  Brunch – Salmon, cheese, and Potato omelet
Lunch – bagel with cream cheese and Lax. Dinner at Debbie and Jeff’s house

I awoke at 7:15 and watched the news programs until almost 10:00 when Suzette called me to brunch.  She had combined some of the PPI roasted potatoes with the PPI teriyaki salmon and several slices of Manchego cheese to make a lovely large omelet.  I drank green tea with my wedge of omelet.

At 10:30 after brunch we packed the Kilborn painting into the Mini and drove to Donut Mart on Montgomery by Lovelace Woman’s Hospital and I picked up the order of four everything bagels and one plain wholewheat bagel and a small cream cheese.

Then we drove to FedEx at the corner of Academy and San Mateo and had the Kilborn painting packed and shipped to Rebecca in New York.

Since the FedEx store is across the street from Sprouts Farm Market we then drove to Sprouts, where we purchased two matched pieces of fresh Atlantic raised salmon on sale for $6.99/lb., a large bunch of fresh dill for $1.99, raw almonds on sale for $3.99/lb., and two bunches of asparagus on sale for $1.88/lb.

We then drove to Costco for gas and then returned home.

I ate 1/2 of an everything bagel with cream cheese, onion, Lax, and capers and then we rode to Rio Bravo and back in about an hour.

We showered and dressed and Suzette packed yogurt and a container of the poached Quinces and I grabbed a bunch of asparagus and a bottle of 2007 Wellington Mohrhardt Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon and we drove to Debbie and Jeff’s house for dinner.

The sunset was beautiful but the wind was blowing a bit so we stayed inside and had cocktails and appetizers of a bowl of an olive and salami medley and a cheese plate with a wedge of muenster and a wedge of cheddar and a pile of multigrain crackers.  Very nice.

When we arrived Debbie had already braised a pot of red cabbage.  After about an hour of drinking and conversation and watching Dallas beat San Francisco we began cooking.

I helped by coring, slicing and dicing ½ Granny Smith and ½ of a Winesap apple and Debbie put them into the red cabbage.  Then I snapped the end off 24 stalks of asparagus and put them into a steamer with water, ready to steam.

Debbie then sautéed four boneless pork chops and then deglazed the pan with heavy cream and added Dijon mustard and capers to the pan to make a thin sauce.  This is the type of sauce Suzette prefers, but in this case Debbie mentioned that the sauce did not thicken, which means she probably would have been happier with the results if she had made a traditional French cream sauce by combining 2 T. of butter with two T. of flour and adding the pan juices and milk and less cream to make a French cream sauce.  This is a discussion Suzette and I have all the time.  She prefers a flourless thinner cream sauce made with heavy cream and I prefer a creamier cream sauce made with a roux and lighter liquids such as milk or broth.

We watched the sunset from the dining room as we ate dinner.  Debbie drank Mondavi Chardonnay and Jeff, Suzette, and I shared the bottle of Cab.

After dinner and a lively conversation, Debbie and Suzette warmed the poached Quince and put some in bowls and added dollops of yogurt and Jeff served glasses of water and we enjoyed the warm dessert of poached Quince with golden raisins, black raisins, and cranberries.

We are all early to bed folks so we said goodnight at a little after 8:00 and were in bed by 9:00.

Bon Appetit

October 21, 2017. A Day of Cooking. Breakfast – Tropical Fruit Salad Dinner – Ratatouille, BBQ Spare Ribs, and Mexican Black Beans Dessert – Tart Tatin and Poached Quince

October 21, 2017. A Day of Cooking. Breakfast – Tropical Fruit Salad  Dinner – Ratatouille, BBQ Spare Ribs, and Mexican Black Beans Dessert – Tart Tatin and Poached Quince

Some days just seem to start and finish with cooking and today was one of those days.

It started for me at around 8:30 peeling and dicing the papaya and pineapple than have been ripening in the garage fridge for the last two weeks into a tropical fruit salad with a squeeze of juice of two limes.

We then ate bowls of yogurt, granola, and fruit salad for breakfast.

I then rode my bike to the farmer’s market and bought a loaf of Cloud Cliff wholewheat bread for $6.00.

Suzette started clearing out the garage of wicker patio furniture she had bought at the estate sale by us moving it to the back porch while I made ratatouille by intermittently moving furniture from the garage to our back patio while also chopping a large onion, two heads of garlic, a large green bell pepper, two zucchini, two yellow squash, and an eggplant and sautéing those ingredients in a large ale Creuset casserole with about 1 ½ T. of Spanish olive oil as I watched Texas lose a heart breaker to OSU 10 to 13 in overtime.  When the game ended a bit before 2:00 I ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich and took a sugar tablet and we rode against an about ten mph breeze to Campbell Rd. and back.

After we returned I took a shower while Suzette started cooking the two racks of St. Louis ribs I had bought last week for $1.99/lb. by placing them on a rack over water in a roaster in the oven at 350 degrees for twenty minutes and then I reduced the temperature to 250 degrees and we baked them for an additional four hours, basting them twice with Masterpiece BBQ sauce.

While the ribs were cooking Suzette worked with Mario and his girl friend to clean the old garden, the garage, the shed, and the compose pile and I diced three vine ripened tomatoes I bought at Sprouts for $.99/lb. and picked a large handful of each of basil and oregano and de-stemmed and chopped the leaves and added those three ingredients to the simmering ratatouille while I watched Oklahoma come from behind to beat Kansas State in Manhattan, Kansas.

Then at 5:00 after Suzette finished working in the yard and took a shower and the found a recipe for Poached Quince and Tart Tatin, and I began coring, peeling and quartering eight large Quince she brought from the orchard at the Center for a Ageless Living.

Poached Quince

Suzette Poached the diced pieces of four Quince in sugar water with dried golden and black raisins and cranberries and cinnamon and vanilla in a deep French copper clad cooking pot.

Tart Tatin

While the quinces were poaching and the ratatouille was simmering, Suzette called Willy and asked him to bring six apples for the Tart Tatin when he came for dinner at 6:30.

Mexican Black Beans

Suzette heated the contents of a 24 oz. can of whole black beans in a large skillet and sautéed them
with ½ of a diced onion, an avocado leaf and about 1 T. of dried leaves of hoja Santa and salt.

She then made a pastry dough for the Tart Tatin and put it into the fridge to chill.

When Willy came we fetched Fat Tire New Belgium beers from the garage fridge and I separated the ribs on one rack and we plated our plates with ribs, black beans, and ratatouille and watched TCU and Kansas playing football.  It soon became evident that TCU was dominant when it scored 43 points in the first half and Kansas never advanced the ball into TCU territory.

                                          The Poached Quince

                                                  The Ratatouille

                                                     The ribs

Then Suzette fetched a 2 inch deep copper baking dish from Mother’s French copper clad cooking ware and we cored, peeled, and quartered four or five of the apples and a Suzette sliced the quartered Quince into thinner slices until there were enough slices of each to fill the cooking dish. She then tossed the fruit in sugar and then cooked it on the top of the stove with sugar and butter until a caramel sauce formed in the bottom of the dish.  She then rolled out the pastry into a sheet and laid it on the top of the fruit and tucked in the sides and baked the Tart.

I showed a Suzette Julia Child’s recipe for Tart Tatin on page 638 of Mastering the Art of French Cooking vol. 1, but she preferred the recipes she found on the internet.  I felt rather out of date.

We sampled the poached Quince with yogurt and later, when the Tart Tatin had baked in the oven, we flipped the Tart onto a ceramic platter, rearranged the fruit into its original position and spread a bit of the caramel sauce that was left in the baking dish onto the fruit, we made mint tea and sampled the
Tart Tatin.

The caramelized fruit layer 

                                                     The finished baked Tart

                                             The final upside down Tart

The Tart Tatin was wonderful; a complete dessert dish made from the combination of very simple ingredients, fresh Quince and apples, a dough, and sugar and butter to make a caramel sauce.
The same can be said for the ratatouille; a vegetable stew made from simple, readily available ingredients that when combined without anything  additional, creates a completely unique dish.

I felt like today was French Cooking 101 with an American classic and a Mexican classic tossed in.

Bon Appetit

October 18, 2017 Lunch – East Ocean Dinner – Sautéed Tarragon, Lemon Chicken Breasts, Roasted Potatoes, and steamed Asparagus with a Mushroom Cream Sauce

October 18, 2017 Lunch – East Ocean  Dinner – Sautéed Tarragon, Lemon Chicken Breasts, Roasted Potatoes, and steamed Asparagus with a Mushroom Cream Sauce

I met Aaron for lunch today at East Ocean.  I had my usual; Moo Goo Gai Pan without rice with sweet and sour chicken.  Aaron ordered chicken Lo Mein with sweet and sour chicken and liked the Lo Mein a lot.  Lo Mein is one of the best dishes offered on East Ocean’s lunch menu.

After lunch I drove to Sprouts and bought pork ribs for $1.99/lb., a green bell pepper for $.50, zucchini and yellow squash for $.98/lb., asparagus for $1.88/lb., a whole filet of fresh Atlantic farm raised salmon for $6.99/lb., three onion at 3 lb. for $.99, a head of romaine lettuce, 5 or 6 vine ripe tomatoes for $.98/lb., a small head of cabbage, two eggplants for $2.50, and a gallon of whole milk for $2.49.  My idea was to make a dinner of teriyaki salmon with the salmon, a dinner with the chicken breasts with a cream sauce and ratatouille with the eggplants, bell pepper, tomatoes, onions, and squash

I bought extra squash so I could make fresh steamed and sautéed sliced squash and onions like we ate at The Range Monday night as a vegetable side dish.

When I got home I was tired after unloading so I read Wyoming vs. Colorado in bed until 4:30 and then went to the bank.  When I returned Suzette was at home but had had a busy day and was resting in front of the TV and gracious enough to have turned on the business news.  I made teriyaki sauce and then cut the salmon in half and placed it in a gallon freezer bag with the teriyaki sauce.

Teriyaki Sauce – 7 T. each of soy sauce, Ali Mirin, and sake plus 1 T. of sugar
I fetched five  sweet potatoes and the last five Yukon Gold potatoes which Suzette washed. I peeled and diced the potatoes and 1 onion and placed them in a Pyrex baking dish and handed it to Suzette, who added olive oil and seasoned and tossed the potatoes and placed the potatoes in a 350 degree oven to bake.

I then sliced five white mushrooms and minced 6 small cloves of garlic and about 1 oz. of onion and put them in an enameled sauce pan with three T. of butter.  It was 5:50 by then, so I went to meditate.

When I returned a little after 7:00 I went to the garden and picked small handfuls of tarragon and thyme.

I removed the leaves from the stalks and put the thyme in the mushroom sauce pan and the tarragon in a large cast iron skillet a Suzette fetched.  Suzette joined me in the kitchen and assumed her usual cooking duties.  She put butter and olive oil in the large skillet and when the butter melted added the three large chicken breasts and weighted them down with a smaller skillet filled with water to sauté them in what we call the Bobby Flay method, since he was the first chef we saw use this method to crisp the breasts and cook the more quickly.  It is the same as brick cooked chicken.

I snapped 18 stalks of asparagus while Suzette fetched the steamer and filled it to basket level with water.  After adding the asparagus to the steamer I added another 3 T. of butter to the mushrooms, thyme, and onion and sautéed those ingredients until tender. I then added 2 T. of flour and 1 tsp. of salt and two dashes of white pepper and sautéed and broke up clumps of flour for a couple of minutes.  Then I added about ¼ cup of white wine and then about 1 cup of milk until the sauce liquified.  Suzette then took over and stirred the sauce until it thickened and then added some asparagus water to thin it to a proper creaminess.

Wily arrived and helped Suzette add lemon juice to the chicken. We discussed wine choices. Suzette suggested one of the chilled bottles of Gruet Tamaya Rose’ we had bought at the Gruet tasting room in Santa Fe on Monday with Rebecca.  Justin and the server told us, “These are the last two bottles of this wine available from the winery.”  I felt lucky and honored and sad, all in the same moment.

The Tamaya Vineyard is a joint venture between Gruet and the Santa Ana Pueblo.  It is a 23 acre vineyard and as far as I know raises only Pinot Noir grapes.  Richard of Milagro Winery told us he set up the vineyard and he gets some grapes from it, but Milagro’s rose’ is entirely different from Gruet’s.  Richard seems to blend some other grape juices with the the Pinot Noir and the result is Milagro’s rose’ is heavier, even leaden, compared to Gruet’s which is light, clean tasting, and elegant.  Gruet’s Tamaya Rose’ is comparable to a fine Rose’ from Bandol, France.

I initially poured Willy a glass of the Dreamer red from last night and asked him if he liked it.  He did.  We told him we were trying to see if it appealed to millennials.  He thought young people would like it.

Them we tested the chicken to see if it was thoroughly cooked and it was so.  Suzette had made two deep incisions into each breast to hasten their cooking, so I simply extended the incisions through the  two breasts cutting them into thirds and placed two thirds on two plates and 1/3 on Suzette’s plate. I then poured glasses of Gruet Tamaya Rose’ while Suzette plated the plates with potatoes and asparagus and sauced the chicken with the mushroom cream sauce.

I added a bit more sauce to my plate because I like it on my potatoes and even asparagus.

This type of mushroom cream sauce flavored with garlic and thyme is one of my favorite sauces.  The other variation of this sauce I love is the same ingredients; mushrooms, garlic, a little onion or shallot, thyme and flour and butter emulsified with fish or crab or lobster stock and a bit of white wine and cream instead of milk and wine.  You can see from the addition of some of the asparagus cooking water how flexible the emulsifying liquids can be.

After dinner I ate a piece of chocolate and a glass of cognac with a dash of Grande Marnier in celebration of a great dinner.

Remember my definition of a great dinner is good dishes of well prepared ingredients and a good wine. Tonight’s meal more than met my criteria.  Everyone expressed satisfaction with the meal and Willy even took a second glass of rose’ when offered, which is a rarity.

This evening’s meal also shows how one orchestrates a great meal through the assemblage of ingredients by shopping, then prep, and cooking, into a finished meal with a proper wine of good quality. It takes a bit of time and energy but the result is rewarding.

As you can see the shopping and prep time and effort can be spread out over a long enough period of time so as to not to interfere with other activities, which also minimizes the time spent in the kitchen doing the final prep and cooking.  I guess that Suzette and I spent about ¾ hour of final kitchen time making this meal.  Of course we had prepped and prepared the potatoes ahead of time and started roasting them at 6:00, so they would be roasted by 7:00, which was when Willy said he would arrive.

Bon Appetit