Category: Food

Greens on the Red!

So many Spring festivals! And this isn’t even a Small Town Festival. This is Greens on the Red, which happens to be about two blocks away from my house. Palmer and I walked Penny over for a visit this year. I don’t know how we’d missed it before, but we’d never been.

Of course I didn’t take my good camera or photos of the actual festival offerings, which included some pretty impressive foodstuffs made from local greens from arugula to dandelion greens. There were at least 15 or 20 dishes to try. Most were vegan, but there was some cheese mixed in, too. Even better, our favorite Slow Food representative was there dishing up a delicious gumbo z’herbes, which I particularly enjoyed. Every table also handed out recipes. I went home with several because YUM.

We had a great time. Penny even got to eat a brussels sprout! As we headed out, we stopped to listen to the music in the Community Garden.

Greens on the Red is a lovely little festival, and it’s so nice to have something like this going on right down the street from our house – especially since Penny can come, too.

There’s fungus among us!

Last Sunday, Palmer and I went to Walter B. Jacobs Nature Park, one of my very favorite places in the general vicinity of Shreveport, for a presentation and hike called The Fungus Among Us. Turns out fungi are a lot more complex and diverse than I realized. While I can’t tell you much about the various types of mushrooms, I did learn that, for me, at least, going mushroom hunting for dinner is a very dangerous idea. I also got some reasonably good pictures.

Penny didn’t get to come along this time because it wasn’t exactly a pet-friendly topic and there’s no way she could have sat still for the presentation. That’s for the best, though, because it was a dreary, rainy day (which I guess is good for mushroom-viewing) and she would have tested every

single mud puddle.

Palmer was also taking photos. He got this pretty amusing one of me being all excited toward the end of our hike.

Palmer and I discovered the fungus among us this afternoon in the rain! 🍄

A post shared by Lindsay Attaway (@ohwaitiforgot) on

He also made this pretty awesome video and posted it on Youtube:

When we got home, I wasn’t done with Happy Mushroom Time. I went over to Whole Foods and got groceries to make Kale and Mushroom Stroganoff, a recipe I found on Chowhound. It involved dried porcini mushrooms, which I don’t think I’d ever tasted.

There was also the half-pound of fresh baby bellas and a bunch of kale and various other yummy bits.

Excuse me a minute while I drool all over again. This recipe is going on my shortlist.

So is Walter B. Jacobs. Palmer and I are going back tomorrow for a Winter Tree ID Workshop. I’m really looking forward to it! I think the weather is supposed to be nice, so expect some sunny pictures!

Christmas tree FAIL. Plus super-tasty gingerbread muffins!

So, as you saw in the last post, we got a beautiful Christmas tree, and everything was going swimmingly. Even Zelda was (mostly) leaving it alone. I took the plunge and strung up the lights and garland, and Palmer put the angel on top.

 

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Pretty nice, right? (I’ll give you one guess why I didn’t take the garland down to the bottom.) Well, that lasted for a couple days, then THIS happened:

 

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And that was not the worst of it. I was minding my own business, watching TV, when I heard a creaking sound. Zelda wasn’t involved because she was lying on the sofa right next to me. I look at the tree, and it’s leaning so far forward I thought it would topple over any minute. I went over there and leaned it against the wall, but not before the angel fell forward, losing her head as she hit the floor. I thought the adjustable leveler had come undone, which I could fix myself, but one of the screws around the base had come loose.

 

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Awesome. Even more awesome is the fact that Palmer won’t be home to fix it for almost two weeks. MEH.

In more pleasant news, I made some fantastic gingerbread muffins, and I’m totally going to share the recipe. You really should try these. There are lots of weirdo recipes floating around Pinterest right now (one of which I was stupid enough to try), but this one is taste-tested and approved, guaranteed bs-free.

gingerbreadmuffins

 

And they’re SO easy to make – as are most muffins. They’re also pretty sweet. For me, anyway.

 

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Mix brown sugar, molasses, milk, canola oil, unsweetened applesauce, and an egg with a mixer, which brings us to the Ugly part of this recipe:

 

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In another bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, wheat flour, baking powder, ginger, salt, baking soda (are both really necessary?), cinnamon, and allspice.

 

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You might want to add a tiny sprinkle of black pepper because said pepper is always good in gingerbread. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and you end up with a batter that looks suspiciously like peanut butter…or that uber-tasty Biscoff butter. Yum.

 

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Aww, yeah. I could have eaten ALL of that with a spoon.

And that’s about it! Dump it into a lined muffin tin, and pop it in the oven for about twenty minutes. You’ll be impressed with your Christmas baking skillz.

 

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I’ll take twelve, please.

Gingerbread Muffins!
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Lindsay Attaway
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
Instructions
  1. Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin by lining the cups with paper cup liners or by spraying with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix brown sugar, molasses, milk, oil, applesauce, and egg until well blended.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, stirring just until combined. Batter will still be slightly lumpy, which is fine – do not overmix.
  6. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups (use an ice cream scoop!).
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.
Carbohydrates: 29

Recipe heavily adapted from The Seasoned Mom.

Yay Christmas! (And we survived Thanksgiving.)

The various end-of-the-year holidays are always exciting, but for me, it’s all just a build-up to Christmas. It’s been so long since I’ve lived in New Orleans now that it’s eclipsed Mardi Gras in my Hierarchy of Awesome Holidays, and I start looking forward to it once the first Fall cold snap hits.

Speaking of Fall, Shreveport is beautiful right now.

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We don’t get the amazing colors of the Northeast, but it’s good enough for me.

Did I mention that we somehow agreed to host Thanksgiving for the first time this year? I’m still not quite sure how it happened. We had six guests: Nunpoo, my uncle David, my mom, her husband, and Palmer’s parents – and somehow everything went well! Palmer was well-prepared with a 21-lb. turkey, which he put in a brining bag in our ginormous refrigerator for a full 24 hours.

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It turned out beautifully.

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There was SO MUCH food. I made brussels sprouts with apples and bacon, zucchini boats, and autumn squash soup; my mom made the famous Sweet Potato Business and a green bean casserole; and Palmer’s mom brought a(n amazing) pumpkin pie, a pecan pie, macaroni and cheese, cornbread dressing, deviled eggs, yeast rolls, and…I’m probably missing something. One table wasn’t big enough to hold it…

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So Palmer had to carve the turkey on the coffee table.

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The food was excellent, and we all had a good time.

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I even volunteered to do it again next year.

But wait, you say, where’s Zelda in all of this? She’s young and energetic and super-jumpy, and I’m always terrified that she’s going to knock Nunpoo down, so she was locked in my library until we’d finished eating and everyone had settled down and stopped moving. She napped during most of that time and behaved admirably once she was released. I made her Puppy Pumpkin Pies, which might have made her feel a little better about things. She was exhausted after everyone left.

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After a huge dinner and a nice, long puppy nap, it was Christmas!

On Friday, Palmer and I headed to Santa’s Woods in Frierson, where we always buy our Christmas tree. It proved a little difficult because the latest Arctic Vortex killed most of the pines, which looked bad this year, anyway. So we ended up with a cypress.

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We were both worried about how Zelda would react once we got it home, but things didn’t go badly at all.

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Palmer got a video of her first reaction, which we both thought would be different.

You can’t tell from the thumbnail (which I should probably change since it looks a bit violent), but all was well…until we noticed she was picking little pieces one by one. I think she’s stopped.

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Later today, we’ll be putting on the lights and garland. After that, we might add a few ornaments if the puppy allows. We’ll see.

We’re gearing up for a fantastic (or at least very interesting) Christmas!

 

Food: Not pretty enough for Pinterest, but tasty as all hellz (a recipe for Shepherd’s Pie)

I’ve been planning on (re)introducing food posts to this blog for a while, now, so here goes. (It’s a particularly good time because I need to review The Bone Clocks but am having a hard time settling it in my mind.)

I have a ginormous stack of cookbooks at home, but I tend to get most of my recipes from Pinterest, which is a pity because so many excellent recipes are just plain ugly. Like this one! (I’ll put a lovely photo of a sunset down at the bottom so your eyes aren’t assaulted by Facebook’s choices of images.)

This is my dad’s recipe for what seems to be a non-traditional Shepherd’s Pie, which is funny because I don’t think I’ve ever had traditional Shepherd’s Pie – you know, the kind onto which you pipe out mashed potatoes and stick in the oven for however long. Traditional Shepherd’s Pie, though, is much more photogenic. This recipe involves no baking and only takes a few minutes to make, so it’s good for weeknights. It involves one specialized ingredient, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Here’s how to make it, in brief: Brown your ground beef, kind-of drain it, add vegetables, add spices, pour it over mashed potatoes. The End.

Easy, right?

Well, here’s the (very minor) catch: it involves Kitchen Bouquet. I’ve never used it for anything other than this specific dish, and every time I have to buy it, finding it is a nightmare. Sometimes it’s near the spices, and sometimes it’s near the barbecue sauce. Most grocery stores have it. Here’s a photo of it next to the organic, non-chemically cream of mushroom soup I insist on using even though I’m adding All the Chemicals with Kitchen Bouquet:

I promise it’s worth it. Here’s a lovely before-and-after shot:

Kitchen Bouquet makes a huge difference in color and taste and is one of the very few situations when I will willingly deposit chemicals into my food. Just do it.

And don’t neglect the mashed potatoes! I make these ugly, too!

I leave the skin on because Fiber Is Good for You. 2 or 3 good-size potatoes should suffice. I just boil them until they’re soft, then dump them in a bowl with a dash of salt and however much butter and milk I feel like adding. I like them plain and lumpy.

And there you have it! An excellent, but very ugly, recipe for Shepherd’s Pie that won’t set you back any oven-time. Of course I choose what is quite possibly the ugliest recipe I have for a first recipe post. Anyway, let me know if you try it.

Shepherd’s Pie
Author: Lindsay’s dad (or grandmother?)
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1 Tbsp Kitchen Bouquet
  • Mashed potatoes (3-ish)
Instructions
  1. Brown the beef, half-ass drain. Add veggies, cook until soft. Add salt and pepper. Add cream of mushroom soup. Add Kitchen Bouquet, add more if not brown enough. Put on top of mashed potatoes.
Notes
.05 carb factor for the meatz. In case you’re counting.

Aaaand here is our beautiful sunset that will end up on Facebook. Dog-walking is an excellent activity.

sunsethighland

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