Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mediterranean Chicken & Polenta

Tonight we had Mediterranean chicken & polenta.  I got an email during the day today from, and for the second time in a week, I didn't care what was on the menu.  I HAD to have it.

Not only is this delicious, it has minimal ingredients and takes under 45 minutes from walking through the door after work to a fabulous, healthy, and best of all GLUTEN FREE dinner on the table.

You can find the recipe here at the website:

They actually have a TON of wonderful recipes.  Tomorrow night we're having French Chicken Stew in the Slow Cooker...yummmmmmmmmmm!!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

They ate standing up?

Well, bless everybody's heart.  They ate standing up tonight, and there was nothing I could do to convince them to just sit dow and enjoy.  James says  the grits were very tasty, and yet, I put way too much tought into them.  Bless his heart!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cooking Class at the Haney Place

We took a somewhat drippy, soggy walk after dinner tonight.  It's not horribly cold out, but we all got wet and a tiny bit chilled.  We returned home to a warm and inviting kitchen, smelling wonderfully of oregano, among other things.  After a thorough toweling by big Steve (Elsa loved it but HAD to behave as if it really freaked her out) we are settled in for the evening.  And it's not quite 8 pm!!!

Tonight's evening meal was gluten free pizza, Stiva and I being all alone in the place and all.  I was surprised at not having any pizza sauce in the pantry, once having made and instilled in the pan the (Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Flour) gluten-free crust.  Once I started making the light marinara, can I tell you that there was immediately a classroom in the kitchen.

Sooooooooooooooooo....if you would like our recipe for gluten free pizza, you are welcome to consult my students:

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Why We Can't Facebook

Folks are wondering why we can't facebook daily -- it's just that there is so much going on here at the Haney Place.  Isn't this so much better than farmville?  I mean, after all, it's real.

Here's a look at it all -- the waterfall, the birds, the garden, the barn.  It's all of this keeping us busy...

A Spring View -- I Only Hope You Can Hear the Waterfall

It's REALLY Spring!!!

I think my batteries died in my camera -- I'm so tech unsavvy that I'm not even sure if that's the problem.  At any rate, it REALLY is Spring, and for that I am so thankful!

Here is the fresh oregano, which replanted itself from last year.  It's all ready to use in the kitchen, in fact, the more I use, the more that will grow...there is already fresh thyme as well, and we used that this week in the black eyed pea jambalaya, but the camera died before I could shoot that...

Here are the peas coming up about Stiva's lovely framework.  There will be fresh peas still in the shell for salads, and later, peas for freezing for the winter.

Here are the lilacs, purple and white.  Again, I just wish we had smell-o-vision!

And most importantly, here is Stiva retilling part of the garden to get ready for everything else.  And there is little Elsa, literally having the **** scared out of her (if you want to come over and see for yourself, that little tiny tiller literally scared the **** out of Elsa, but I digress...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Black Eyed Pea Jambalaya

This recipe needs to be memorialized here.  It is AWESOME!!!  It was worth changing the menu, shopping after work, and waiting 2 hours for dinner to be served.  So worth it!!!  I only wish we had smell-o-vision.  At any rate, I bring you the Black Eyed Pea Jambalaya:

Here's the recipe:  there are obvious omissions/corrections needed.  I'll be working on that.  I'm not at all sure where this recipe came from.  If you know, please share.  If you have corrections (like where you add the smoked sausage, etc.) please share that as well.

Black Eyed Pea Jambalaya


* 4 ounces tasso sausage, diced into small pieces

* 1/4 pound chorizo sausage, sliced in half lengthwise and cut into1/4-inch pieces

* 1/4 pound smoked sausage, sliced in half lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch pieces

* 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 medium onion)

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

* 4 cloves garlic

* 4 bay leaves

* 5 sprigs fresh thyme

* 3 teaspoons finely chopped parsley

* 12 cups chicken stock

* 1 pound black-eyed peas

* 1 tablespoon minced garlic

* 1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped

* Essence to season

* 1/2 pound long grain rice

* 1/4 cup chopped green onions


In a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the tasso, chorizo and sausage, render for 5 minutes. Stir in the onions, salt, cayenne, garlic, bay leaves, thyme and parsley. Saute for 5 minutes, or until the onions are wilted. Stir in the chicken stock, peas and garlic. Bring the liquid up to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. Sprinkle the shrimp with Essence to season. Add the shrimp and rice to the mixture. Cook for an additional 30 minutes or until the peas and rice are tender. Stir in the green onions. Serve warm.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Coockoo Coockoo!!!

I was blessed with a coockoo clock, something I have ALWAYS wanted, by my oldest son Jeffrey, for Christmas.  It's new, it's wonderful, it's obedient.  It's here:

I'm not sure why, but even though it's not far from my bedroom, it doesn't wake me up until the 5 o'clock coockoo.  Then I can make a decision...sleep another hour, or not.  It's the original snooze button.


We have my Gramma's coockoo clock, recently given to me by my mother.  It has a mind of its own, as had Gramma.  I could make a whole other page about Gramma, but I digress...  This coockoo rings whatever damned hour it wants to, except only on the half hour.  On the hour, it rings once, for the half hour.

SO.....................the only time of the day that the planets are aligned is exactly 1:00!!!!!  My new (Jeffrey) clock coockoos once and my Gramma clock rings once (for the half hour, but if you're showing up at the party, who really cares)!!!!

A few weeks ago, I spent some time home alone sick, and I swear, the harmony of 1:00 p.m. was a huge part of my healing!!

Update -- I was SO SCAMMED!!

I'm usually not taken in by urban legends, but this one got me because my mom told me over the phone.  Apparently, the troll in the closet story is nothing more than an urban legend!!!

So the laugh is on me, and that's ok.  I'm just relieved it wasn't true!!!

My dearest cousin Kathy, whom I absolutely adore, had this to say.  "I can't understand why either you or your mother were taken in.  After all, EVERYONE KNOWS THAT TROLLS ONLY EAT GOATS!!!"

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Readers respond and comment - Census workers, and OMG

I just got off the phone with my mom.  She's mightily worried.  Seems a friend of hers had a son with Down's Syndrome who called his mom and said he had a troll trapped somewhere and was feeding it skittles.  Friend fled work to go home immediately to find that there was a census employee, a little person, who was misunderstood by this dear disabled young fellow.

I can TOTALLY understand any terror, angst, anger, OMG LET ME OUT feelings of the poor census worker.  The question is this.  What, now, is the penalty for those grown up young man?

Taking everyone's feelings into understanding, and understanding that everyone here is innocent -- what next.  Readers -- PLEASE respond and comment!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Soap Night at the Haney Place

My constant lament is that my day job (for real $$$ PAY) gets in the way of my personal life.  After a scrumptious dinner of herb baked fish and deconstructed stuffed peppers, I found, MUCH to my dismay, that we were out of laundry detergent.  If you're not familiar with us yet, you might not realize that we make our own laundry detergent.

Suffice it to say, it's past 9 pm on a night I was going to get to bed REALLY early.  But dinner's done, dishes are done, and I have 3 months worth of laundry detergent put by for mere pennies!!!!  About 1/2 hour's work, and it's low sudsing, environmentally friendly, CHEAP frugal(!) and now it's done.  Feet hurt a little more than they did, but I am SO THANKFUL I didn't give in to the convenience demon and send dear spousal unit out for some chemically laden crapola.  :-)  If I had, I wouldn't be sitting here comfortably listening to him playing/singing "shady grove". 

If you want to know how we do it, just go here:

It's soul satisfying work.  I know I did the best by my family, my environment, my laundry and my budget tonight.  I'll sleep with a contented heart tonight!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wherever I Go -- It's in a Cloud of Puppies

It certainly doesn't hurt that I'm in the process of reducing sauce for a roasted duck...

Playin' in the Barn

Stiva's headed out to play in the barn.  I'm guessing it's Sunday, and chores are done.  If you're in the neighborhood, you KNOW where you can find some sweet bluegrass jammin', especially if it's of the gospel variety....

Waiting for Something Good to Happen

If a picture paints a thousand words, this one paints a thousand hopeful words.  Little shy Elsa wears this look more often than not these days -- ears forward, hearing a sound and believing something very good to be connected with it. 

Breakfast Muffins - Sausage, Egg & Cheese

So today we're doing a freezer cooking of sausage, egg & cheese muffins for the freezer.  I didn't have any bulk breakfast defrosted, so I used some link sausage which I chopped up.  Never think you can't make a recipe because you don't have the exact ingredients.  Only think -- what could I use here that would be equally awesome.  So, anyway, first mix up the dry ingredients, along with the eggs and milk (since we have no children here, we always use fat free dry milk)

Mix, then fold in your chopped or crumbled sage sausage.

And when they're've got this!!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Menu for the Week Starting 4/17/2010

Saturday - April 17
Grilled Center Cut Bone-In Pork Chops
Baked Potatoes
Fried Onions & Apples

Sunday - April 18
Roast Duck w/Port Wine Glaze
Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Monday - April 19
Flounder baked with Soffrito
Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers

Tuesday - April 20
Crock Pot Corned Beef w/Cabbage, Potatoes & Carrots

Wednesday - April 21
Crock Pot Roast Pork
Oven Roast Potatoes
Green Beans

Thursday - April 22
Light Chicken Parm
Tossed Salad
Italian Bread/Butter

Friday - April 23
White Pizza
Gluten Free Pizza

The Free Replacement Warranty -- Part Deux - AND LAST!!!

So -- OMG -- This is the second time.  Or so...  I am not quite sure what to say to defend her, other than this is the second time we have been GRACED by a no-questions-asked replacement policy and I am so thankful for that.  At this point, everyone's patience and understanding (except mine) has completely worn thin.  And if this was a human child, there would be a terrific scolding ensuing (not that she wasn't thououghly scolded).  BUT....dang burn it....she's trying us by being a total poop-head!!!

Stiva and I went out early this morning and did errands (BJ's and Deli Warehouse, to bring provisions into the house for the week ahead).  At any rate, when we returned home, after one hour, and AFTER LEAVING THEM BOTH SOME SERIOUSLY AWESOME RAWHIDE TOYS, NOT TO MENTION THE PEANUT BUTTER FILLED KONG TOYS FOR BOTH OF THEM (but I digress).....the SIRIUS remote control for the second half of the house had been chewed and destroyed by Marley Oh, I'm sorry Elsa.  It was all in her bed, and for the love of God, she had even started chewing through the batteries, as well.  Thank God, everyone is well, and SIRIUS is sending us a new remote at no charge, given the fact that we are long time customer. we go....

Comments, please!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Total OMG Food Moment

If my hips didn't pain me so badly from my own food indiscretions, I would be serving me up a portion with some heavy cream on top.  OMG.  If you want the recipe, you'll have to contact me personally.  It's bread pudding, but it's made with my homemade BABKA and dried cranberries.  Not peasant food at all, but perhaps, peasant food for a special occasion????

The B**** Bit Me!!!!!

Trying to fix the wrongness of an elderley cat who is dropping her winter coat and can't effectively groom herself, as well as helping her (and the household) to be healthier in general, I cleaned out her cat basket.  And removed the blanket of matted hair from her catnip filled basket mat.  It was incredible.  It took me 15 minutes to hand pick the matts of hair off before I put the whole mess into the washer -- for a long incredible wash cycle.  She was in that wicker basket, as always, when I tried to put her nice clean matt back in.  I know you won't appreciate this if you have a cat with claws, but PooPoo has no claws!!!  She latched on with her blessed teeth and wouldn't let go!!!  I'm sure the others in the household heard me shrieking "YOU BIT ME, YOU B****!!!"  Not ladylike, in any way.  Just the shock and awe of a middle aged woman whose companion had totally dug her fangs into my flesh and would NOT let go!!!

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....It's a good thing I love her!!!

The Only Chicken Soup You'll Ever Need

This recipe originally came from Jordan Rubin's "Maker's Diet".  Its healing properties are amazing.  I know, I know, chicken soup is good for everything that ails you, right?  Well, it might just be so.

Chicken Soup (and Stock)

Yield: 6-10 servings


1 whole chicken (free range, pastured, or organic chicken)
3–4 quarts cold filtered water
1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
4 medium sized onion, coarsely chopped
8 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
6 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
2–4 zucchinis
4–6 tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil
1 bunch parsley
5 garlic cloves
4 inches grated ginger
2–4 tablespoons Celtic sea salt

If you are using a whole chicken, remove fat glands and the gizzards from the cavity. By all means, use chicken feet if you can find them: they are full of gelatin. (Jewish folklore considers the addition of chicken feet the secret to successful broth.) Place chicken or chicken pieces in a large stainless steel pot with the water, vinegar, and all vegetables except parsley. Bring to a boil and remove scum that rises to the top. Cover and cook for 12 to 24 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful the stock will be. About five minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley. This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth. Remove from heat and take out the chicken. Let cool and remove chicken meat from the carcass. Reserve for other uses such as chicken salads, enchiladas, sandwiches, or curries. (The skin and smaller bones, which will be very soft, may be given to your dog or cat.) Strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in your refrigerator for use as a base for other soups.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

RA -- Does anyone else suffer from it?

I thought I had mine licked, but it has owned me for the better part of this week.  Now please don't tell me about the drugs out there -- I already know.  But if you've got a magic spell -- wind it here!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Dog Ate My Glasses

Well, not mine, but Stiva's. Elsa did it.  I woke up the other morning to a "crunch, crunch, crunch" and thought she was chewing on her rawhide chip.  I'm pretty sure there wasn't much anyone could have done to rescue them at that point anyway, but oh boy.  And Lens Crafters is going to replace them for free, if you can believe that!  Now that is an awesome return policy!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Maybe Nobody Else Cares

Maybe nobody else cares, but I'm ecstatic.  My absolute favorite flower is the REAL violet, not the hothouse variety.  And they're fleeting, at best.  So here we go -- I guess it's a really good thing that I appreciate the simplest things most -- I have heard lately of folks making violet tea and violet preserves, but our violets are much too sparing for us to do anything but drink in the beauty of their simplicity.

Sunny Sunday & Stiva's Out Playing in the Barn

I can think of better ways to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon, but then again, can I really?

As for Big Steve, he took his guitar and headed out to the barn.  Can I blame him???  NO!!!  If you're in the neighborhood, c'mon by and play with Steve.  But I digress...

My mom dug some of her horseradish, so I'm in the kitchen, peeling and crying....and loving it...

Update - So ok, I'm blind.   I'm actually blind.  And this proves that it doesn't matter if your horseradish roots are 50 years+ or brand new.  Horseradish is horseradish, as long as it just came out of the ground!!!   Now what is everyone else doing this lovely Sunday???  And YES, those are this evening's black eyed peas in the crockpot.  I'm just sayin'!

Menu for the Week Starting 4/11/2010

I've been asked to post a menu for the week, and so I shall!  I did a large, exhausting shopping at Price Rite in Schenectady yesterday, and I'm not exactly recovered yet.  This is a work in progress and probably won't be complete until sometime tomorrow.  If you want a recipe, you MUST comment and ask for it.  Otherwise, I won't post it.  It's a lovely Spring day, a real gift of a day.   I'm trying to get ALL of the week's laundry out on the line, which will keep me away from the computer till tomorrow. 

Sunday -- April 11, 2010

Sausage Gravy
Orange and/or Vegetable Juice

Pulled Shoulder of Pork Sandwiches
Black Eyed Peas

Monday - April 12, 2010--


Chicken Fajitas
Leftover Black Eyed Peas (they were so good!)
Frozen Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie for dessert

Later....After that blessed shoulder of pork comes out of the over...Baking up some scrumptious oatmeal chocolate chip cookes for my soldiers.  If you are deployed and reading this...ask and you shall receive!!!  Love you all!!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Thank you Dear Lord, It is Spring

I actually felt the cool green grass betwen my toes this afternoon while going out to the compost pile.  Thank you, dear Lord, for your grace and goodness!!!  And yes, those are my very own toes in that wondrous green grass. 

Now, look at the horseradish the good Lord has given us to grind and enjoy.  I'm just about to peel and grind it, after a wonderful shrimp dinner:

Finally, the eggs we cooked and colored the "old school" way -- the way my grandmother did them -- with onion skins in the water to color the shells.  Thank you Lord for what you have given us.

Easter Menu

We thought about going out to dinner this year, but decided just last night to eat at home.  Here's the menu, just completed.  I'll post recipes after, unless there is a special request.

  • Deviled Eggs
  • Spinach Dip w/veggies and corn chips
And for Dinner:
  • Ham
  • Candied Sweet Potatoes
  • Green Bean Casserole (Stephanie NEEDS it!)
  • Roast Asparagus
  • Homemade Babka (my grandmother's recipe -- that's a whole other story!)
  • Martian Salad
  • Pickled Beets
  • Bread & Butter Pickles
  • Coleslaw
  • Boiled Eggs
  • Homemade horseradish (we haven't even dug it up yet today!)
And for dessert:
  • Cheesecake
  • Bunny cake
  • Coconut Macaroons
Like I said, I will post recipes after the fact.  If you have a special request, let me know, and I'll share.  And now it's off to the grocery, and then it's all kitchen on this gorgeous gift of an early spring day.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Ode to the Shy Dog -- And Just DOGS!

Our dear little shy girl, Miss Elsa Magee, has grown by leaps and bounds.  She has actually turned into something of a little poop-head, not that I'm complaining! 

Recently, her brand new cousin, Jasper, came to visit with his family (my son Anthony and his dear one Destiny) and as a result, we attempted to capture the moment in a portrait of the three of them.  Of course, chaos ensued, and you can view the results yourself!!!  The confusion and peepee sniffing speaks for itself, methinks!