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Posts Tagged ‘Mushrooms’


The Lava Lamp - Photo by Alastair Forbes

The Lava Lamp – Photo by Alastair Forbes

They sat in the living room with a plate of little blue meanies in front of them. He ate one; she ate one. There were not many, but there were enough. On the turntable was a Yes album; the song playing was “Starship Trooper.” The mushrooms were now gone.

After about a half hour, they both found themselves sitting there with silly grins on their faces. The cat sauntered into the room looking first at him, then at her. As she turned to make eye contact with the cat it jumped straight up in the air and then shot off to parts unknown.

He turned down the lights in the room, and sat back down. She began to giggle. He looked over at her. “Your legs have disappeared,” she said breathlessly.

A wide smile broke his face and he said to her, “Your hair? Snakes!”

They both began to laugh hysterically. As the laughter died down, he got up and went into the back of the house returning with a lava lamp in his hand. He plugged it in. As it warmed the goo inside began to move. A column lifted. As if one they both shouted, “Dead baby!”
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Thank you goes out to Alastair Forbes for hosting Sunday Photo Fiction! Thank you for the inspiring photo Al! I have not seen one of these lamps in ages!

Thank you dear reader for stopping by to look at my bit of flash! Have an amazing Sunday and be well! ^..^

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I absolutely love short ribs! When these little bundles of joy are slowly cooked the flavors are not only heavenly, but very rich as well! There is nothing better than a good short ribs dinner paired with garlic mashers! Of course, you have to remember to serve a vegetable! My mother-in-law was a believer in five vegetables to go with every meal, and I always think of her when serving food. I do not always get in the five, but I do get in the veges! So, shall we head into the kitchen to take a look at different short rib recipes? OK! Let’s go!

Here are two different methods of cooking short ribs. One is slow braising in the oven, The Best Short Rib Recipe Ever!, the other two are braised in the crockpot, Crockpot Braised Short Ribs, or, No Bones About It!

What is important with short ribs is browning the meat! This seals in the flavor of the short ribs!

Browned short ribs

Browned short ribs

The other thing that is important is cooking down the beef broth to intensify the flavors of it!

Cooking down the beef broth

Cooking down the beef broth

I discovered that cooking short ribs with a porter and some vegetables, like onion, carrots and mushrooms, gives this dish more flavor. You can also use wine, which is featured in the “No Bones” recipe.

Porter, onions, mushrooms, carrots, oh my!

Porter, onions, mushrooms, carrots, oh my!

When cooking with the crockpot, do not remove the lid! But with oven braising, you will want to turn the short ribs. Here is a photo of the oven braised mid-way through cooking! Tell me, can’t you just smell them? Mmmm….

Half way through cooking

Half way through cooking

When all is said and done, they all look lovely when done! Here is the one that is oven braised:

Short ribs

Short ribs

And, here are the two crockpot short ribs! This one is with a stout beer.

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

And, this one is with wine!
Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

Are you thinking of trying one of these? Please let me know if you try either recipe! You can get to the recipes by clicking on the method you prefer! Oven braised, or Crockpot braised with Stout, or Crockpot braised with Wine!

Thank you for stopping by today! Have an amazing day and be well! ^..^

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I just love a good pizza! I have made quite a few over the years and I thought that today I would share some pizza with you! Are you hungry?

Carne Asada Pizza!

Carne Asada Pizza

Carne Asada Pizza

Chicken Artichoke Pizza!

Chicken Artichoke Pizza

Chicken Artichoke Pizza

Pepperoni Pizza!

Pepperoni Pizza

Pepperoni Pizza

Inspired by Cheshire’s on the SF Peninsula, Pancetta, Caper and Tomato Pizza!

Pancetta, Caper and Tomato Pizza

Pancetta, Caper and Tomato Pizza

What are your favorite pizza toppings? If you are thinking about making one of these, just enter the name of the pizza in the search box and it will take you there!

Thanks for dropping by! I think I will head off into the kitchen to make another pizza! I’m hungry now! :)

Be well!

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Every year after it rains, the mushrooms pop up and so does the turkey tail fungus! The tails feather out and spread for inches in ribbons of color! I discovered this fungus growing on an old wood pile, where it really seems to thrive! This fungus is actually just another mushroom, and one that is believed to have some properties that may be useful in fighting cancer!

Turkey tail fungus

Turkey tail fungus

I love the layers and the ribbons of color in this delicate looking fungus!

Layers

Layers

Ribbons of color

Ribbons of color

Sometimes you can find turkey tails with a bit of green on them. This is actually an algae growing on the fungus! I didn’t see this on any of the ones I found, but I have seen it before… It seems that this fungus finds a crack in the wood and makes a home there as you can see in this photo!

Draping down

Draping down

If you look closely you can actually see that these little tails are fuzzy!

Fuzzy little things

Fuzzy little things

Isn’t that an amazing looking fungus?

Have a tremendous Thursday, and, thank you for taking the time to visit with me today!

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Venturing outside with camera in hand, I went in search of photo opportunities. Sometimes you have to look closely to see what it is that is hiding in plain sight. I poked around for quite a bit and then something caught my eye. So I had to take a closer look. I was rewarded by the discovery of mushrooms! And guess what? They turned out to be in a number of places in my yard!

Now I do not know the names of any of these, and did look to see what I could find, but misidentifying a mushroom can be deadly! So shall we take a look at what I discovered? Well, then let’s go!

Here is one of the first ones that I found. Now you tell me, isn’t this glorious?

One lovely mushroom

One lovely mushroom

Moving on a bit further in the yard I found these little gems. Each one of these is about the size of a nickel.

Casting shadows

Casting shadows

When I headed over to a woodpile of old oak, I found this little winky mushroom popping up between the bark and the surface of the wood underneath. Check out the stem on this baby.

Growing on dry old oak

Growing on dry old oak

When I got around some of the oaks in the back I spied this bright orange color. Here is what I saw.

This caught my eye

This caught my eye

As I poked around I realized that this too was a mushroom! Then I noticed clusters all over the place. Here is a shot of one of the tiny clusters that I found.

Then I found a cluster of mushrooms

Then I found a cluster of mushrooms

Here is another mushroom I found underneath the oaks. This was in a nice shady area, and there were many. What was intriguing was the way they popped up from under the leaf litter that covers the ground around the oaks. You will see the debris on this mushroom…

Popping up from under the oak leaf debris

Popping up from under the oak leaf debris

I returned back to the house to review the photos for this post, and when my husband and I went out to our screened in patio room to enjoy our evening cocktail, I saw what I thought was a huge bug on the deck. Another photo op is what I thought, and one of a bug! I went out the door for a closer look and discovered this mushroom popping up between the boards of our decking!

On deck

On deck

Amazing isn’t it? If you are out in the wild and you see wild mushrooms, unless you are an expert, do not pick mushrooms and eat them!

Enjoy your Monday, and many thanks for dropping by to visit today!

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Veal is one of the “hard to find” meats here in the Sierra Foothills. I am not sure why this is but when I saw veal at the grocery store I had to buy it! I decided to make Veal Marsala, and the Marsala was not easy to find either, but I did! I started dancing in the aisle when I did and believe me I got some weird looks! So, let’s head on into the kitchen!

The ingredient list is simple!
3/4# veal sliced thinly
1/2 cup of flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
1 1/2 cups of Marsala wine
3 TBS butter
2 TBS fresh thyme leaves

A short list, but one packed with amazing flavors! Check it out!

Ingredients

Ingredients

The first thing you want to do, after getting your ingredients prepared and ready to use, as this is a quick cooking dinner, is coat your veal in the seasoned flour. Then heat the olive oil in a skillet and when it is hot add the veal. Do this in batches so you do not crowd the pan. Brown the meat. This takes about a minute a side!

Brown the meat

Brown the meat

As it browns remove it from the pan and set aside. Then add your mushrooms. You want to brown these and cook out the liquids.

Browned mushrooms

Browned mushrooms

Then add in the Marsala.

Add the marsala

Add the marsala

Heat this to boiling and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the the liquid is reduced by about one third.

Reduce the liquid by a third

Reduce the liquid by a third

Then add back the meat to the pan along with the butter. The butter and the flour will thicken the sauce a bit.

The meat added back

The meat added back

Bring this back to a boil, then add the thyme leaves. When the aroma of the thyme comes up, the dish is done! I served this with roasted potatoes and fresh green beans…

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

The flavors in this dish: Amazing! And, the best part of it, the dish is easy to make. Anticipate your cooking time to about 25 minutes!

Thank you for dropping by today and for joining me in the kitchen! Go have a great Monday, and I will see you tomorrow!

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I am working on two recipes. Two which need to be combined. One I have known as a “Cream of Green Chile Soup;” the other is known as a “Cream of Artichoke Soup.” Why? Well, there is a little place located in the town of Pescadero, south of San Francisco, but for us is about 175 miles away. When I lived in the area I used to go to this fabulous little place, called Duartes Tavern, for a mixture of their Cream of Green Chile and Cream of Artichoke Soup! This restaurant has been around since 1894! If you have the chance – GO THERE and have them mix a bowl for you of both of these soups!

So where this is taking me is to the different types of soups that one can make. I have not done a post on this yet, and thought that this would be a good topic for those who love to be in the kitchen like I do! And I am wondering: Is the Cream of Green Chile Soup and the Cream of Artichoke Soup really Bisques or Cream Soups? So here is what I discovered:

Basically, there are 6 types of soups: Stock, Broth, Cream, Bisque, Chowder and Consommé. So, what are the differences?

A Stock begins with water and bones, and sometimes incorporates vegetables into the mix. Fish stock, which is the finest of stocks, can be made with fish bones and water, but if you cook it too long it can become bitter. Beef and chicken are the most common stocks that are made. Stock is made by cooking bones in water with some vegetables and seasonings. Stock can be cooked down and reduced for the flavors to intensify without being overly salty!

A Broth, while being a bit similar to stock, has more seasoning than a stock. It also begins with water, but uses less bones than stock, and still includes some vegetables.

Broth in the soup kettle

Broth in the soup kettle

Meat is usually added, but this is not cooked down to the degree of Stock or it would be too intense in flavor. Bullion that you can buy in the grocery stores should not be confused with broth. Those bullion’s you can buy in the store: Loaded with salt, which is usually the first ingredient.

A Cream Soup generally uses a bechamel, which is a white sauce made with butter and flour. The trick to a good cream soup is to “sweat” the aromatics in butter that you are using for the basis of your soup. This intensifies the flavors. Then you add a bit of flour to create a roux, and add your liquids.

The flour mixture with the addition of the broth

The flour mixture with the addition of the broth

Usually this liquid is a stock, and to finish this soup, you finish it with a bit of cream. I like to toss it in a blender which will smooth and thicken the entire lot of what you are cooking!

A Bisque Soup (pronounced “bisk”), is a soup that begins with a strained broth of shellfish. Traditionally, this soup is made from shells that are ground into a fine paste, which are then added to a broth to help thicken it. Rice can also be used to thicken a bisque. The term Bisque can also refer to a vegetarian style soup which are processed through a food mill or food processor. These more commonly use tomatoes, peppers, squash or mushrooms.

Add potatoes, mushrooms and carrots

Add potatoes, mushrooms and carrots

These really are considered a cream soup but needed to be mentioned here as they are more often than not referred to as a “Bisque.”

A Chowder is more like a stew than a soup. It is similar to a cream soup but it is not blended.

Midway through cooking

Midway through cooking

So with this soup you get chunks of food, while it is still creamy. Most chowders include corn, fish, clams, or potatoes. Again, a chunky cream soup!

The last is Consommé. By its very definition this soup is a strong, rich soup where the flavors are concentrated. What sets this apart are the strong flavors and the clarity of the soup. What clarifies this type of soup are egg whites. They are basically a filter for this type of soup! As the soup cooks the eggs capture the sediment in the broth, which rise to the top of the cooking pot. This is called the “raft.” The raft is then spooned off resulting in a clear, flavorful broth!

I hope that you found this post interesting! I was amazed at the differences between all these types of soup!

Now go out and have a great Wednesday! Thanks for dropping by!

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