• chefcarlin

First things first. I made this pie today and have not tried it yet, it's cooling, but the house smells wonderful and it looks pretty. The directions are well written and easy to follow. Mine cooked longer than the recipe said, but my pan is heavy ceramic.

Back to what else was cooking so far this month. And I must say the month seems to be speeding by.

I had a box of spinach that still was looking great, some leeks, eggs always and cheese. Bacon too in the freezer. And we both love quiche. This was very good for dinner and for breakfast the next day.

Mine stuck a little on the sides of the tart pan, but it did come out with coaxing. We both thought it was better tasting the next day.

In addition to wanting to use up things in the fridge and pantry, I didn't want to go grocery shopping. I decided to go the rest of another week. I did warn husband that meals could get weird. But I think all went well.

Love this recipe for meatballs. Love it. One night spaghetti and meatballs. One night pizza.

Since I thought ahead about pizza, I made this dough that takes longer. Not hard, just time. And it is very good if you plan a little. I divided the dough into three pieces and made three pies.

Foraging for toppings - sauce and meatballs leftover, pepperoni, mushrooms that I sauteed, banana peppers, roasted red peppers from the pantry, parmesan, mozzarella, burrata.

Delicious dinner! Since we had some slices left and a whole pizza, one meatball pizza went onto the freezer for a future dinner. Well wrapped and labeled. I cooked it before freezing so will just need to heat and eat.

My plan was to go out to lunch at Arepa Mia after career day and then we could just forage for dinner since we wouldn't need a huge meal. Plans change!

Career day was wonderful. The school is an elementary school and fourth, fifth and sixth graders attended career day.

Many, many businesses showed up to talk to students. In addition to me as a chef, husband came for photography, the SWAT team with their vehicles, the library, Delta airlines, fire department, a couple non-profit groups, Johnsonville sausages (he cooked too), Bojangles, department of education, funeral home, three or four colleges, so many more.

In the week leading up to Friday career day, the students all wrote resumes to hand out as they wanted to businesses. Many wore suits, dresses, all were dressed professionally. They asked questions of the businesses that were interesting to them.

We were there until noon, and Mr. Barnes made sure we knew that lunch was catered in for us. So we went to lunch in the library and it was excellent. I need to find that name of the caterers. We had salad, curried chicken, braised cabbage, braised greens (the best ever), rice and beans, pasta primavera and very good apple pie. We did not go to Arepa Mia.

We made it through until shopping with steak salad, burgers and salad (I had a lot of greens) and finally Monday the 9th we shopped. And had sushi, wings and fried rice for dinner. Buford Highway Farmer's Market is the best. I had one impulse buy, not chocolate but potatoes, small yellow potatoes. Could not resist!

Tuesday the 10th I had fresh food to cook! Although I used naan bread from the freezer instead of toast for broccoli melts. Excellent.

I planned for two weeks of menus and hope to go shopping after two weeks. Planning is key.

My plants are doing well. New wildlife on the deck - a Northern flicker, a raccoon, and now so many cardinals, robins and thrashers.

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  • chefcarlin

It's already May! I thought I was kind of in control but no. April quickly ended.

Still cooking, working on using freezer items and making sure to have fresh produce at every meal. Husband was away twice in the month so menu plans changed. Grocery trip was rescheduled several times.

Our meals:

A new soup because no matter the season, I love soup. This was Velvet Chicken and it was delicious. Served with some breadsticks.

Since husband was gone another weekend, I made a pizza for me. One ball of dough in the freezer then I topped it with garlic oil, muenster, parmesan, mozzarella, artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes, banana peppers. Excellent!

I made myself burgers - ground meat and buns in the freezer. One topped with guacamole, so good. Again, the individual containers of guac, frozen, are handy.

I had asparagus that had stayed nice so made pasta. I try to always have lemons on hand.

Found some zucchini that were still great and made zucchini pancakes. Served it with salmon.

Grocery shopping so far has been pushed out two weeks further than originally planned. Meals went pretty well. Since I buy meat in bulk, I always have that in the freezer.

For fresh foods I've found that peppers, onions, leeks, Publix Greenwise arugula, romaine and spinach all do well.

We had a junk food night that actually was pretty well balanced with onions, peppers, tomatoes, cheese and whole grain chips.

The wildlife deck is doing well. I have attracted more cardinals than in other years. Also doves. I'm guessing the custom blend seed helps. And I saw a pileated woodpecker on the railing.

A new front porch friend. Husband really does not love snakes. Does not. I kind of like them and appreciate they have a job to do.

It got too hot for the pansies so I got new deck plants. I don't usually get red, I like white, but hummingbirds prefer red. Yes, small tiny birds are influencing my planting.

Some tomatoes, peppers, geraniums, basil, mint, the dianthus was a one stem survivor from the front yard that I rescued last year.

Geraniums were never a favorite plant for home use for me. Every year on Memorial Day, my family went to the cemetery and took red geraniums to plant at the graves. So they had a specific purpose and use. I've mellowed and like geraniums for home now.

Some red but also this beautiful pink!

Workwise still doing some KItchenAid work. I'm also signed up to take a class from ICN and once I take the class I'll be able to teach it. I love teaching with the institute so looking forward to that.

I'm attending career day at Wadsworth Magnet School. I've attended before but it's not been held the past two years. Looking forward to seeing Mr. Barnes (counselor) again. No, I cannot call him by his first name. Yes, he is very nice and approachable, yes I've known him several years, yes we hug when we see each other, yes he is younger than I. But he is Mr. Barnes to me.

Also worked a little getting a plan for summer cooking camp. I'll be doing that for a week at Atlanta Academy.

Lots going on, now into summer!

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  • chefcarlin

It's been a while, I've been cooking, working a little, feeding birds, knitting, reading, napping. Balance.

Husband went on a retreat the weekend of April 8th so I had a weekend alone! Okay, the cats were still here but we're all pretty quiet on our own.

I decided to make bagels since we were out. And after baking bagels, I just can't buy them. Somehow when husband is gone time is different and I seem to have more hours. So I used a bagel recipe I've made before but decided start Friday at 10 so I was waiting for dough to rise at midnight.

Worth it!

Saturday bagel morning, Friday steak and baked potato. Always bake more potatoes when making them. They can be used for breakfast the next day and even dinner. I found a serving of pot roast in the freezer that went nicely over a potato.

After a husband retreat weekend, I try to make something for Sunday dinner that he didn't have over the weekend and since I worked, something easy. Fish and vegetables.

No recipe, I make this a lot - roast bell peppers (or any kind) with onion, garlic, olive oil, seasoning. Once soft add fish, bake until done. Since I had overdosed on potatoes, I served over rice but pasta is nice too.

Other cooking:

Pernil, I wasn't sure about this but I had a bone in roast in the freezer so gave it a try. Very good!

Broccoli beef, easy weeknight meal to use up the broccoli I had. Also used sirloin steak strips.

Roasted Salmon Nicoise Platter. I love this salad. I did not use eggs since I think we had them for breakfast. I vary the lettuce.

Oh yes, had the eggs with the raspberry scones!

Needed a basic roast chicken, love roast chicken. Chicken for dinner, quesadillas for brunch, stock for the freezer. Lots out of a three-ish pound chicken.

Totally forgot about Easter. I don't love ham, love lamb, but had a beef brisket in the freezer so used that. In my basic Butcher Box order I don't choose so get a variety of beef and pork.

I found this recipe for a smaller piece of meat and while I was wary it would be too sweet for me, it was delicious!

A giant Irish potato pancake, carrot cake and roasted asparagus to round out the Easter meal.

It felt like we had had a lot of meat so I saw this pasta salad and it was nice and fresh. I served it on a bed of arugula. Perfect! I halved the recipe so still had leftovers for brunching.

And last but not least but needing salt, shrimp etouffe. Easy, I had orange peppers so used them. Salt, it needed salt. I used about 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne and my Creole seasoning did not have salt, so add some.

Loving the birds on the feeders! I may now have a wildlife preserve. I also may be creating a custom mix of seeds for the feeder. Once a personal chef, always a personal chef.

Still trying to find 10 minutes to meditate daily. True confession, I often clear my mind so well that I sleep. Sometimes a short 10 minute nap, sometimes more. I figure my mind is clear so just go with it.

Women's group almost done and I have SO enjoyed our book - Wisdom Distilled from the Daily:Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today by Joan Chittister. I will read it again I'm sure.

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