Here and gone… For now.

I will keep this blog open and may post here but you can now find me at  http://ruseroius.blogspot.com/

Hope to see you there.

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Birthday Party – Part 2

 
As promised, here is part 2….  The FOOD part!
 
It was delicious!!  Becky made Moroccan Chicken, Couscous, Cumin Potatoes, Glazed Carrots and homemade Chocolate Gelato for dessert. YUM!!
 
The chicken
 
Table
 
 
 
Oops!!!
 
What can I say?  It was GOOD!!!!
 
Now here’s the recipe for the Moroccan Chicken:
 
Becky’s Moroccan Chicken
 
"This is my own version of this dish, and all measurements are approximate."
 
* 6 whole chicken legs/thighs, bone in, skin or no skin (leaving the skin on does give the sauce a richer flavor)
* 1/2 Tablespoon ras el hanout*  (see note below)
* 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
* 1 – 2 finely minced garlic cloves
* 2 – 3 Tablespoons olive oil
* Juice of 1/2 lemon
* Salt and pepper
* 2 – 3 onions, sliced in half and cut into thick slices
* Handfull of dried apricots (sometimes I cut them in half)
* 1 preserved lemon**  (see below)
* Handful of fried almonds*** (see below)
* 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
 
 
* Ras el hanout
I get my ras el hanout from friends in Morocco. It’s kind of a curry, not in taste, but in the fact that every ‘shopkeeper’ has their own version. It is also available from Cost Plus World Market, and it’s not bad. I did, however, find this recipe if you want to make your own version:
 
1 teaspoon each ground cumin, ground ginger and salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon each ground coriander seed, cayenne and allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
 
** Preserved Lemons (quick method)
I’ve never tried the store bought variety (if you can find them), and I’ve made them both the old fashion way (which can take weeks) and the quick version, which is just as good, I think. I keep them in a plastic container in the fridge and they last forever.
 
Thinly slice as many lemons (any variety, but I prefer thin skinned ones such as Meyers) as you want (be sure to wash thoroughly first) and place in a shallow container. Sprinkle generously with salt (table, sea or kosher) on both sides and let sit for at least an hour. The longer they sit, the better they are. To use, rinse gently under running water to remove the pulp. Chop rinds into 1/2 inch pieces. Rinse only as many as you’re going to use and save the rest in their juices/salt in the fridge until the next use.
 
*** Fried Almonds
You can use toasted sliced, whole or slivered almonds but I prefer raw whole almonds from Trader Joe’s. Blanch them for a few minutes in boiling water. Rinse and remove the skins. Fry lightly in a little vegetable oil and cool.
 
Assembly and cooking:
 
Combine spices w/ garlic, olive oil and lemon juice to make a thin paste and rub over chicken pieces. Marinate several hours or overnight.
Brown chicken in olive oil in a large dutch oven, remove. In the same pot, toss in onions and lay chicken pieces over. Add water or white wine to cover onions. Cover and cook about 1 hour on low.
 
To serve, place chicken pieces in a large shallow bowl and spoon juices and onions over all. Sprinkle with apricots, preserved lemon, almonds and olives. Serve with crusty bread to dip in the juices.
 
 
You can find recipes for couscous, glazed carrots, cumin potatoes and gelato at www.epicurious.com.
 
This should serve four people easily and I hope you will give this recipe a try.
 
I had a GREAT birthday!!! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Birthday Party – Part 1

 
Last night we decided to have a birthday party for me that the dogs could enjoy.
 
So we bought them these:
 
Ice Cream in cups, for dogs.  What a concept!  Of course, they loved them.  They each reacted in different ways and it was a hoot watching them.
 
Baxter and Buzz were very excited!
 
VERY!!  Like ‘hair standing on end’ excited!
 
Baxter had to keep stopping because his little nose kept getting frozen.
 
 
Bonnie is a hoarder by nature so we didn’t see much of her until later.  She carried the empty cup around with her all night and even slept with it!
 
 
 
Notice how well her eye has healed!!
 
So tonight is Part 2 with 4 adults, if you can call us that, and FOUR dogs!!
 
Becky is making Moroccan Chicken!!  YUM!!  I’ll post the menu, photos and the recipe tomorrow in my Part 2 blog.  I can smell it already!!
 
*****************************************************************************************************************************************************************
 
The temps hit 95 today and more of the same tomorrow.  No rain in sight.
 
My leg is about the same but my foot has improved greatly.  I see the doctor this week.
 
I hope your weekends were very enjoyable.
 
Love ya all,
Bob~
 
 
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Ultrasound

I phoned the hospital this morning to set up an appointment for the ultrasound and the woman told me that with a diagnosis like that, I needed to come in NOW!!  Because there were other appointments waiting, she would try to squeeze me in.  Well, the ‘squeezing’ only took 10 minutes and the procedure took another 15.  Anyhow, it was normal.  No clot and good blood flow both ways.  A relief but what the heck is causing this?  I see my doctor next Thursday but I’m sure I’ll hear from him sooner.  At least now I can enjoy my birthday weekend and YES, it lasts ALL weekend!!  lol!  And definitely Moroccan Chicken!!  More about that on another post.  It’s wonderful!!
 
Thank you everyone for you kind birthday wishes here and on Facebook.  It’s always nice to be thought of anytime!
 
I hope you all have a great weekend.  Do something fun!!!
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Doctor Appointment Today… UGH!

 
Just when I thought things were getting better with my foot, I now have another problem.  The good news is that the wound is healing well on my foot, but the surtures worked their way loose.  So my doctor stitched it up yet again.  It really is doing better and it’s not infected.  That’s the good news.
 
The bad news is that my foot and calf have swollen to 3 times it’s normal size.
 
 
Not the best photo but you get the idea.  It’s Huge, and hurts.
 
 
 
 
The doctor is concerned that I may have a blood clot forming, which could eventually move upwards to my heart.  He assured me that a clot forming and moving like that is a ways away.  However, I go in for yet another ultrasound next week and if the circulation is poor, he will put me on blood thinners.  He said that whatever I do, DO NOT massage it!!  So, tomorrow is my birthday and I’ll be stuck sitting on my butt all weekend.  Becky promised me a special dinner so that should help.  Maybe Moroccan Chicken???  YUM!!!
 
Oh, and as if that’s not enough, I’m scheduled for a colonoscopy on October 7th.  Things just keep getting better and better!  Sheesh!
 
I hope you all have a really nice weekend.
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Muffuletta

Muffuletta?  It’s a New Orleans sandwich made with mozzarella, cappocolo, Genoa salami, mortadella, pepperoni and provolone piled on a round, 12′ or so, loaf of Italian bread.  But the real star of this sandwich is the Olive Salad.  Becky had her first taste of one while visiting ‘The Big Easy" and loved it so much that she now makes them at home. The Olive salad is really easy to make and keeps for at least a week, covered, in the fridge.  Here’s a photo of what’s left of the one she made Saturday along with the recipe. 
 
 
This photo shows about four servings unless you’re really hungry!
 
It’s best to let the salad sit in the fridge, covered, for a day or so to let the flavors marry. Also, after assembling the sandwich, wrap it in foil and let it sit in the fridge also for a few hours before slicing.  The Olive Oil allows the sandwich to keep for days.  The salad itself will keep for weeks.
 
Muffuletta Olive Salad:

1 1/2 Cups Green Olives, Pitted
1/2 Cup Calamatta Olives (or Black) Pitted
1 Cup Gardiniera (Pickled Cauliflower, carrots, celery, Pepperoncini)
1 Tbsp. Capers
3 each Fresh Garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/8 Cup Celery, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. Italian Parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. Fresh oregano (When I have it in my garden) or 2 tsp. dried
1 tsp. Crushed red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 Cup Pimientos (Roasted red peppers) Recipe follows
1 Tbsp. Green Onions, thinly sliced
Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground pepper To Taste (salt may not be necessary)

Crush each olive on a cutting board with your hand. Combine all ingredients. Cover with:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil about 1 – 1 1/2 Cups

Put into a bowl or jar, cover and let the flavors marry for about two days.

Sandwich Ingredients:
 
1 10" round loaf Italian bread with Sesame seeds.  (You may want to remove some of the bread in the center of the loaf).
1 Recipe Olive Salad
1/4 lb Genoa Salami
1/4 lb Mortadella
1/4 lb Mozzarella
1/4 lb Provolone
1/4 lb Cappocolo
4 oz Pepperoni
Assembly:

Cut the bread in half length wise.
Brush both sides with the oil from your olive salad, go a little heavier on the bottom.
Layer half of the Salamii on the bottom half of bread. Then the Mortadella. Then the Mozzarella, then the Capicola, Provolone, and the remainder of the Salami. Top this with the olive salad. Put the lid on and press it down without smashing the bread. Slice it into wedges before serving.
 
You’ve just created pure heaven.  I hope you will try it. 

 

Note:  I’m sure you will find other uses for the Olive Salad after you’ve tasted it.

Have a Great week!

 
 
 
 
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