The Friday Chef

A la carte

<< November 2004 >>
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
 01 02 03 04 05 06
07 08 09 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30

If you want to be updated on this weblog Enter your email here:

rss feed

Monday, November 29, 2004
Spotlight On...

Shadylady, who claims that she is shady, but not quite a lady.  Who cares, though~ she's funnier than hell, (er, heck. Sorry Abraham.) 


Age: Oooooohhhh!!!!! How did this happen?  I got out the calculator, and it says that I am 51!!! Can you believe it? 51!!!!!

Location:  Horse Country, that is, Ellensburg Washington, home of the greatest show on dirt, the Ellensburg Rodeo!
Where were you born? Logan, Utah
How did you end up in Washington?  My family moved to Washington when I was small, about 2 or 3.  My mother had grown up in the Seattle area, and very much loved it.

What did you want to be when you grew up? A hermitress, living in a cabin, in the deep deep forest,  with only a German Shephard for companionship.
So, are you a hermitress now?  Do you have a German Shephard?  I am a hermitress, but only in my imagination.  I have a dog, but she is a cute little border collie chow mix.  In actuality, I am surrounded by friends and family, including 3 grandchildren.  Most of my children have flown the immediate nest (or been pushed out), but my young 18 year old son still remains....
What were mealtimes like for you as a child?  We had a big family.  Eight kids, and we used a "door" for our table, minus the doorknob.  My Mom used to make "mixed up" milk to make finances stretch, and I hate milk to this day.  Warm, with lumps, Adelle Davis  has a holy place in my hell for her contribution to my childhood culinary misery.  I used to end meals with a large mouthful of the "milk" that I would promptly run to spit in the toilet.  And who else do you know that regularly was served chicken gizzards for dinner?  I even had to force down scrambled brains at one time!  Cow Tongue was a treat compared to some of the other stuff...... Hmmmph!  I sat next to my Dad for many years, and if I had my elbow on the table at all, I most certainly got a forkful in my meaty part.  Of the arm that is.  Today, I enjoy putting my elbows on the table.  Any table.
What foods do you like best now?  The all round perfect food is Pizza, with most everything on it except green peppers.  I love green salads also, with lots and lots of stuff in them.  Except green peppers.

Did you ever like any of your school photos?  Well,  I usually was missing most of my bangs, since I am a habitual haircutter, so I can't say that I have many that I like.  However, the SECOND PHOTO of my Senior Year was kinda nice, I have a darling Florence Henderson shag that everyone today makes fun of, but I still like, I look so cute and innocent.......
What extra-curricular activities did you participate in when you were in school?  Besides Parking Lot 101 in my Senior year, I enjoyed choir and drill team.  Oh, extra-curricular.  Mmmmm, boys I guess.
What was your first date like? OMG...!!!! Ralph!!!! What a name, but boy, my tummy still does flip flops!  He picked the lilacs off the bush outside of my front door to give to me, and I still adore that guy!  I was 14, he was 19, sigh......... taught me how to kiss.....
Any idea where Ralph is these days?  None.  Maybe California, maybe The Pen.

What is in your vegetable bin?  If I can tell it by memory, it won't be pretty.  I think some gross bagged chopped lettuce mix that no one ever opened to use as is probably liquidified by now, although my motives were pure.....

What color is your car?  Well, my mini-doppleganger is the exact same color as my old van, which was a metallic slate kind of darkish blue, but it still looks good even if it was conceived in 1992!

Are you having a good hair day?  I have great hair!  Dark brown, wavyish, lots of it, but sometimes it looks like shit.  Usually at 11:30 at nite, so then I take the shears, or the scissors, or the hacksaw and cut it the fuck off!  I have gone to therapy for this.  It hasn't helped.  Right now I am growing out my bangs.  I plan on being an old woman with a french braid down to her ass.  I still have a ways to go, but I am totally optimistic.

What is your favorite perfume?  No Contest!  Bellodgia, or it's counterpart, Spellbound.  Smells like spicy carnation.  Kill me now!
Do you speak any languages other than English?  I took a semester of French, hated it, took a couple of years of Spanish, loved it, took a year of German, enjoyed it, but speak nothing but English.  Oh, and a smattering of Croatian, recently learned.

What is your middle name?  Can you believe it?  They didn't give me one!  So I had to make one up for the yearbook for my Senior Year, and I decided on "Rachelle".  They never even gave me a name!  My birth certificate reads...... "baby girl Jensen".  Pathetic.  No wonder I have whacked off my hair for years....

What type of books do you like to read?  I love books.  I love ALL books.  Mysterys, romance, sci-fi, true crime, non-fiction, self help, self hinderance, cereal boxes, it's all good!  Oh, except for Danielle Steele.  I just don't like the wench.
What are some of your favorite websites?  My all time favorite is HamsterTime, OF COURSE!  And then on the complete other end of the spectrum is  In between are sites on alternative home building, such as cob, strawbale and ferrocement. 
What is your favorite type of cookie?  Coconut Nut Bars!  The Best!
What do you do on a typical weekend?  My typical weekend is spent on the back of my horse, Shadow.  Or if it is an untypical typical weekend, I may be on MY back in the shadow of my horse, Shadow.  Either way, if the weather is good, that's where I am.  In the mountains, on a trail, laughing my way along with my best friend Lisa and enjoying the beauty all around.  When it's cold?  Inside by the fire with a movie or a good book and a couple of cats on my lap.   It's all good. 

Thanks for a fun interview, Shady.  I'll try not to be too jealous that you have a horse and I don't :(

Posted at 05:38 pm by ChefGrace
(3) Shout Outs  

Friday, November 26, 2004
Food Friday~ Pitch In

French Onion Stuffed Mushrooms ~ submitted by Tsylyst

3/4 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 package dry french onion soup mix
2 large packages whole white mushrooms
3-4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon (or more to taste) garlic powder
pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare a large casserole dish with cooking spray -- heavier grease/butter will melt and make the mushrooms slimy.
Combine cheese, soup mix, garlic powder, pepper and any other seasonings in a medium-sized bowl. Add just enough Worcestershire sauce to make the mixture damp throughout and slightly clumpy. Set mixture aside while you pop the stems out of the mushroom caps. Place the caps, hole up, in the baking dish. The caps can touch, so scrunch them in there if you need more space to fit them in.  Wash your hands and start stuffing the caps with your fingers -- I've found a spoon just gets in the way and trying to fit the mushrooms into the dish after they've been stuffed is more than messy. Pack the stuffing just to the rim of the cap or lower -- it's flavor is strong, so too much can be overwhelming.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the mushrooms begin to shrink and become moist.  There will be juice in the bottom of the dish after baking. I've never tried this, but it was suggested to me last Christmas that this mushroom juice would be a nice addition to the pan juices from a beef or poultry dish when making gravy.
NOTE: Be careful in substituting cheeses for the sharp cheddar. Softer cheeses will bubble and force the stuffing out of the caps.

GUACAMOLE ~ Submitted by  KatJam

2 ripe avocados, cut into small pieces

2 tbsps chopped green chiles, drained, (I use the Old el Paso chiles in the can.)

1 tbsp lime juice

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped tomato

salt to taste


In a large bowl, mix together the avocados and lime juice. Mash the avocados with a spoon. Fold in the other ingredients and serve immediately.

For storage, place guac in an airtight container, and cover the guac with a layer of plastic wrap or wax paper (which is what I used). I also put one of the avocado pits in the bowl. It was still good two days later and had not turned brown.

Artichoke Appetizers ~ submitted by Copssister
2 (8-oz) cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

¾ cup grated romano cheese

½ cup mayonnaise

1 clove garlic, chopped finely

1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

Grated parmesan cheese


Mix all ingredients, minus crescents and parmesan cheese.

Unroll the triangles and cut in half (you’ll have 32 triangles).

Cut from the wide side through the narrow point.

Place 2 tbsp. of filling into each crescent.

Roll wide side up to thin side

Sprinkle tops with parmesan grated cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.


32 servings

15-min prep time, 20-min cook time

New England Stuffing ~ submitted by Mensch 
1 - 1.5# loaf country bread, cut into 3/4" cubes
1.25# sweet Italian turkey sausages
1/2 stick unsalted butter
4 cups sliced leeks (white parts only, about 4 large)
5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, chopped
2 cups chopped celery
6 T dried seasonings (I mixed rosemary, sage, thyme and a pinch of oregano)
6 T fresh herbs (I used rosemary, sage and thyme)
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups chicken stock
Toast bread cubes at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Cool.  Saute crumbled sausages over MH heat until cooked through.  Set aside.  In a large skillet melt butter, add leeks, apples, celery and dried herbs.  Saute for 8 - 10 minutes, add fresh herbs and cranberries.  Add browned sausage back into pan, combine.  Add bread cubes and parsley and combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Butter a large baking dish and spread stuffing mixture into pan.  Add egg mix and chicken broth to stuffing, making sure to combine thoroughly.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.  (Can be made same day - it just tastes better the next.)
In a 350 degree oven, bake covered for about 45 minutes, uncovered for another 15.  You can leave this in the oven for up to 1.5 hours.
Serves 12.

Orzo with Chicken and Asiago ~ Submitted by Copssister 

1 cup water
1 (16-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
12 ounces skinned, boned chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1 1/4 cups uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Asiago cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, basil, or oregano
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Combine water and broth in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Add chicken and pasta; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in peas, 1/4 cup cheese, salt, herbs, and pepper. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese.


Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes
submitted by Crazy Mamma Tracie

1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
To make the cake: Combine all of the ingredients and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan. Prepare filling.
To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.
Serve with fresh whipped cream.
Variations: For a Pineapple Gooey Cake: Instead of the pumpkin, add a drained 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple to the cream cheese filling. Proceed as directed above.
For a Banana Gooey Cake: Prepare cream cheese filling as directed, beating in 2 ripe bananas instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.
For a Peanut Butter Gooey Cake: Use a chocolate cake mix. Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter to the cream cheese filling instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.

OHIO - STATE BUCKEYES ~ submitted by Copssister

No bake goodies named for the look alike (but inedible) nuts of the state tree of Ohio.

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted


Line cookie sheets with waxed paper, you'll need 2. Beat peanut butter, butter and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in sugar and flour until blended. Form a ball using one rounded teaspoon of mixture, approximately 1" ball. Place on cookie sheets and refrigerate until firm (1 hour).


When balls are firm, melt semi-sweet chocolate chips. Spear balls with toothpick and dip into chocolate. Only cover 2/3 of ball so it looks like a real buckeye nut. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour or until chocolate is firm.




Posted at 05:06 pm by ChefGrace
Care to Comment?  

Food Friday~ Coming Soon

I did receive several Food Friday recipes, and will post them later, after Overg and I get back from taking the kids to see the Spongebob Squarepants movie, but I didn't want the day to get away from me before I was able to wish my friend, TVJunkie a very happy birthday!! 

Posted at 10:51 am by ChefGrace
(1) Shout Outs  

Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Hasta La Vista, Babies

I am making final preparations for a long holiday weekend in Michigan.  The kids and I are going to meet Overg in Grand Rapids tonight, and spend the night at the lovely Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, then tomorrow, we will head to his parents' house, (aka The Boondocks),  for Thanksgiving dinner.  From there, we will travel on up to Traverse City, where we will stay until my kids trash his house, (or Sunday).  Then, we will begin our long, and dreaded trip back to Indy.  I will still be posting my Food Friday recipes, and although I have had a few sent to me, I'd still welcome more of them, so if anyone has something to share, there's still time to send it to me at

I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday, filled with family, friends, and good eats.


Posted at 08:21 am by ChefGrace
(2) Shout Outs  

Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Follow Up

Posted at 10:01 am by ChefGrace
(3) Shout Outs  

Next Page