lady_kishiria: (Virgin of Ocotlan)
It was with some sadness that I packed up and left my little apartment. It's been a happy little nest for two weeks.

I did have a talk with SGT Convert. I explained that he really needed to be careful what he was talking about during work hours. I said I wasn't going to debate same-sex marriage with him, but since now DADT has been dead for three years, there could be soldiers with same-sex partners around, and he'd just insulted them with his comments.

"Replace the word "gay" with "black", I told him.

He hadn't thought of that.

I assured him I would always rather talk to someone directly than go behind their back to file an EO complaint. And yes, he was opening himself to that. I think he was suitably chastened; I hope so.

We briefly went into a conversation about the classical view of the Virtues and living according to them and that was that.

I drove home without incident, and came home to spouse, cats, and some wresting. The WWE network is $9.99/month and we get our money's worth out of that.

Today I had a day to myself as Steve went off to a shooting match, where he did better than he'd hoped. One of the competitors was in his 90s, and Steve compared him to Yoda, hobbling on his cane, pulling out his lightsaber, kicking ass, then picking up his cane to hobble away. That is an inspiration.

Since my vegan Vietnamese food was subpar Wednesday night, I asked Steve if we could go to Miss Saigon. My vegan rolls on Wednesday were filled with fried tofu and rice noodles, but not cilantro, shredded carrot, shredded cucumber, mint, and all the other things that should have given them flavour. My entree was supposed to be vegan rice noodles but the fried tofu was oil, the rice noodles were barely present, and most of the vegetables were sliced celery, and I LOATHE celery.

Miss Saigon gave us nice vegetable-filled fresh rolls, a delicious shrimp curry and for me, beef, chicken and shrimp with carrots and broccoli in a nest of fried noodles. Yes, we're glad to have Miss Saigon near us.

We need to rest up tonight, because we are going to one of the two county fairs going on these two weeks in our area.


Jan. 2nd, 2015 11:46 am
lady_kishiria: (astrology)
This year, we did put up a tree (Ivan sent it to the floor a couple of times, but most ornaments survived) and some decorations. Jul dinner was small, but tasty, and it was fun to have a pecan pie made with nuts from our own tree.

On Christmas Day we drove up to Phoenix to have dinner with Steve's nephew and niece and their families. Our holidays felt like actual holidays, and that was something that hadn't been the case in a couple of years.

I was gestating a cold New Year's Eve, so for the first time in my adult life I didn't try to stay up till midnight. I spent the next day in my sweatpants and hoodie, taking it easy and napping. I'm at work today, but almost no one else is and the courtrooms are dark. I brought my Kindle.

It froze last night, and will for the next two. After more than a decade of rarely-changing weather in San Diego, we have seasons here in Arizona. Yes, it makes a difference!

Now, back to decreasing my fatness.
lady_kishiria: (Food)
Yesterday (Saturday), Steve said, "Why don't we go have brunch at La Cocina?" La Cocina is a restaurant downtown in a small complex of old buildings. There is a stage in the center courtyard and the other buildings are art stores.

So we went, and the place looked like our Saloon had grown up. Same kind of garage-like setting, with peeled wooden posts and all. Steve ordered chilaquiles and I ordered turkey pozole. I love pozole, a soup made with hominy corn and usually pork, so turkey sounded great.

Problem is, their kitchen is not in the restaurant. It's about 30 feet away around the courtyard. Steve's chilaquiles were okay, but his black beans were very meh. My pozole was close to flavourless. Because of the distance, and the fact that the servers have to carry the dishes outside, both dishes were lukewarm at best by the time they reached the table.

We then went over to the Air Force base to use the commissary. We shouldn't have bothered. Milk was a good dollar more than at Fry's or Walmart. Ground beef was the only thing not sold out. The frozen things we buy are cheaper in the civilian stores. So that was disappointing food as well.

Finally, Bob and Julie, the home-schooling homesteaders, sold us one of their chickens. I sliced up one of the grapefruits that came off our tree in the back yard (this place is wonderful and I love it) to stuff in the cavity, then roasted it with butter and thyme.

The chicken was being delicious. Steve and I were pulling off bits of cooked meat and the legs as we waited for the rest of the body to cool. Steve started carving. All was well until, deep in the breast, we found that the meat We put the chicken in the fridge and texted Bob and Julie about what we found.

It turns out that this is something that happens to chickens whose breasts are too big. When they are active, as Bob's and Julie's are, the inner part of the pectoral muscles don't get enough oxygen and necrotize. It's safe to eat (though not palatable), but it was a problem they knew might happen although odds were against it. They were happy that Steve and I were the ones to find the weird meat, because we, at least, are cool about such things. They brought us another chicken and a dozen eggs.

However, Steve had had the butcher at Fry's cut up a rib roast into steaks that ended up being three meals. It was absolutely delicious; when it comes to barbecuing meat, Steve is the absolute master. Today I took the last of it and put it at the bottom of a cheese and egg pie with Jarlsberg cheese. That rib roast served us well indeed.
lady_kishiria: (Santa Muerte)
You know the old saying. Thing is, even if plans don't work out, that doesn't mean they will end badly.

I woke up this morning at 0600, naturally. I got dressed and went outside to resume digging trenches. I have one more side of the garden to go, and I hope the rains predicted for this weekend won't undo everything. I hope that damp ground will be easier for digging the trenches a few inches deeper. If I get up that early tomorrow, I intend to pull up some more weeds and keep prepping the ground

I ordered a whole bunch of Army uniform stuff from the AAFES website, which made me unhappy. I know I'm not going to wear that pair of mandatory dress gloves more than once, if at all. I think all my dufflebags were loaners from Ft. Benning, so I had to order another one of those, and a few more PT shorts and pants. And for all that, I STILL need to make the two hour drive to Ft. Huachuca to have more service stripes and now my overseas stripes sewn onto the jacket of my ASU (what most people would call a "dress uniform"). I don't want to go to ALC as it is; to have to pay for the privilege makes me just want to start hitting (appropriate) people.

I was going to ride my bike to the mailbox, five miles away, but it was 108 so I decided not to.

My final plan was to go to the Tucson Death Cafe at the coffee shop located in the Metal Arts complex downtown. When I showed up it was a lot of old people sitting in a circle, waiting to start talking about anything related to death. Hzzzzz, not my scene, as I wanted to talk about the green cemetery project that is in its early stages here in town, and perhaps my beloved Skinny Lady. I didn't think this bunch would be too receptive. Steve was already downtown, so we decided to get dinner.

Now, being the son of a West Texan, Steve is very, intensely, fussy and critical when it comes to slabs of dead cow. I hastily consulted Yelp on my phone and found a place called Cody's Beef and Beans that had mostly good reviews, so we went there.

Now, beef is not my favourite thing to eat, but I decided to try an 8 oz prime rib because beef is what the place specializes in. It was quite tender and juicy, with no seasoning. Some people like that, some people don't. Steve was amazed at how perfectly his ribeye steak had been prepared "black and blue". We both had baked potatoes and the beans that are touted in the name of the resto, which were delicious. I still brought home half my meal, including some fat for the kittehs.

I pulled a brisket out of the freezer some days ago. I'm gone this weekend and the brisket might have gone gamey by then, so I'm making a slow-cooked chili tomorrow. I can't find the pestle for my mortar and pestle, which is driving me crazy because I have chilis that need grinding. Guess I'll give using a rolling pin a shot until it shows up again.
lady_kishiria: (Food)
As you probably recall, I got the 75th anniversary edition for $7.95 on clearance. Why, why, why did I did I not buy this book ages ago? It's almost the only cookbook I will ever need.

As examples, in the time since I purchased it, I have made:

Italian pot roast (can't remember the name, too lazy to fetch the book)
Sauerbraten with spaetzle
Gyros and tzatziki
cherry pie (Steve says he now knows why people buy crusts pre-made)

I was thinking about asking my folks for "Mastering the Art of French Cooking for my birthday, but "Joy" is keeping us very busy and fed.

Our 20-year-old air conditioning gave out last Monday. Thus began a week of suck, but we have a new system now. We survived because we were loaned portable AC units, both by the company we were going with and by friends of ours in Phoenix. The Friday that guys came out to replace the A/C, we ended up feeding them because the poor fellas were here from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. They got the gyros and tzatziki.

Our new kitchen is the best toy. My intention was for us to not go out for meals, and so far it's working because it is so much more fun, and cheaper, to cook at home in our marvelous kitchen.
lady_kishiria: (astrology)
This is our new kitchen. It was a horrible mass-built thing with the cabinets from an RV. Steve and I love to cook, and since we live in the back of beyond we wanted a kitchen where we could make restaurant-quality meals.

The kitchen as it was:

kitchen 2014

And as it is now:

new kitchen 2
new kitchen 1

I found a copy of "The Joy of Cooking" on clearance at Sprouts for $7.95, and that's been a serendipitous combination.
lady_kishiria: (Kishiria)
...Bad restaurant meals.

There's this place called Lucky Chinese and Sushi in Casa Grande that has good reviews on Yelp. Since Steve and I were up there, we gave it a shot.

The salad, with lots of nice toasted sesame seeds on it, was promising. I ordered a spicy tuna roll which came with a ketchup-based spicy sauce on top. A drop would have been sufficient, but they applied it heavily on top of the tuna belly.

Why would any sushi chef do something so disrespectful to a piece of tuna belly?????

Steve's sushi selection was meh. We won't be back. Fortunately, Sachiko Sushi downtown is excellent. Steve pronounced it "adequate" compared to the masterful sushi in L.A. But that's L.A.

Today I'm making a simple beef stew, cooked in our cast iron Dutch oven.

Unrelated, I've set myself a discipline. Since I have a month or more until my background check with the Department of Justice, I've decided to be in the gym by 10 each morning. Now to stay honest.

Oh, right. I haven't mentioned it here, but I am to start a one-year contract with the U.S. Attorney's Office here in Tucson pending a background check. It is the exact same process as I went through for my U.S. Army security clearance. However, DOJ and DOD don't talk to each other, it seems. So now I wait. I'm on Unemployment since I got laid off from the job in Coronado, so life is survivable still. I have lots of books to read while waiting, but I really am looking forward to getting back to work.
lady_kishiria: (Maple Leaf Flag)
There's a "The Keg" in Oro Valley, about half an hour from our house!

Given that we went to Texas Roadhouse, a popular US chain, three times and it sucked, I'm glad to know The Keg is there for our steakhouse needs.

One thing that attracted us to the greater Tucson area is that there are some very good restaurants. Bear in mind that our closest convenience store is 20 minutes away, so ten minutes further for decent food is just fine. We discovered Vero Amore, a very nice Italian place, in the same vicinity.

Arizona Mexican food is quite different from California Mexican. Calimex is seafood-heavy and Arimex (is that a word?) is into beef. Air-dried beef (carne seca) is the Tucson national dish.

Steve is making beef ribs tonight.

Beet love!

Dec. 26th, 2012 06:18 pm
lady_kishiria: (Food)
Steve bought beets and then forgot to use them. I got a recipe out of a Jewish cookbook I own but had never used.

Boil 6 or so beets till soft. Cool and slice, then marinade in 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar, juice of 1/2 lemon and toss with mint cut into chiffonade. Let it sit and think about itself for 12 hours. Delicious.

I also washed the beet leaves and ate them and those are wonderful too. I'm going to add beets to my vegetable intake. Root veggies get such little love in the States.
lady_kishiria: (Food)
Right now, the NPFM is open from 1330 to 2000 every Thursday. I'd been to it waaaaay back when, before I deployed, and hadn't been back since. At the time it was an awful disappointment, because it was mostly way overpriced craft foods and candles and flowers, not anything you could have for dinner.

I had to go to the 31st and University intersection anyway, so I gave it a shot. I walked out with three kinds of hummus (sun dried tomato, cilantro/jalapeno, curry/turmeric) and an odd sauce made of almonds and chipotle. I intend to put that on fish. I also met a family who do organic meats and they GAVE me a 2 lb slab of pork ribs to see if it triggers allergies in Steve. Wild boar hasn't so far, and this is organically-fed, hormone-free pig. We shall see.

(Yes, Steve is allergic to pork, the second or third person I've known who is.)

They also make sausage in collagen cases once a month, so I gave Ashley (the totally punk daughter) my business card and I'll buy some when they have it.

I got two cucumbers. I sliced one up and Steve and I ate the slices instead of chips with the hummus.

We watched the movie "In Time" which was quite enjoyable, and now I'm off to read for a bit. Four day weekend starts tomorrow!

Dog party!

Mar. 4th, 2012 09:00 am
lady_kishiria: (Drunk Teppy)
I thought about going to ConDor, but other things intervened. We'd all arranged to have a dinner over at Jaime's and Rebecca's. Steve and I headed up to Miramar to pick up a tri-tip and we found a really nice recipe for a lime-chili-tequila marinade.

Afterwards we were starving so we checked out Mr. Dumpling on Convoy Court, which Ryan had recommended. Many of the menu items were pork, which Steve can't eat, but we survived. My favourite was the fish dumpling; the veggie dumpling was okay. I also loved the beef noodle soup; the baby bok choy in it was lovely. I thought the sichuan noodle soup tasted like camphor but Steve loved it so everybody won.

After that, Steve got the meat into a vacuum-sealed bag and we drove out to J&R's. Now, J&R have three dogs: Dodger, who is a miniature pinscher, Gigi, a five-pound chihuahua, and Dory, her 2 pound daughter. Dory is the most aggressive of the bunch.

As Steve slow-cooked the tri-tip on our grill (it lives at their house now since we have no outdoor space), Vic and Sandra showed up with their chihuahua, Xochitl. Xochi was wearing her "support the troops" dress, but didn't want it when she saw the other dogs were in their collars only. By about the first half hour, she was one of the pack.

The beef was great, consumed with tortillas, guacamole, frijoles and the American sides of green salad, macaroni and potato salads. And beer.

Afterwards, we all retired outside to the fire pit to BS and hang out. We rounded it up around 10 because 3/4 of us are elderly folks in our mid-40s.

Trying to decide what today will bring.
lady_kishiria: (Default)
Cats and cooking!

Today started off as the first Sunday where we didn't have a million errands related to our move. This afternoon was the National Cat Protection Society's open house and fundraiser. [profile] seki_raku called about going. Steve had to go in to the office, so Seki and I headed over there ourselves.

I donated $20 and we visited the senior cats and the cats in one of the adoption galleries. The other rooms were closed off, probably because there were a lot of people there. Sizzler's had donated burgers and hot dogs as well as the fixings, potato salad, etc. I talked to the ladies who had been there when Ivan was adopted and showed them a picture of him taken an hour previously. The truth came out; while they did honestly think he was a runt who'd never grow, they said he was unfriendly because they couldn't bear to see him go. But they acknowledged he was in a good home and I think I may just have to bring him by for a visit.

Seki and I stopped by North Park Produce because I needed feta and kalamata olives for a recipe I was making. I came out with cucumbers and tomatoes for a salad, the olives and feta, but also a container of baba ghanouj.

For dinner I made a recipe out of a cookbook I'd never used. It was pan-cooked chicken breast with a sauce of tomatoes, olives, onion, parsley and feta. I served it with a Beringer 2008 cabernet sauvignon instead of my daily cheap tavola. VERY nice, and Steve and I were very happy sitting at our dinner table in our condo.

After dinner, Seki returned with [personal profile] strigine for mojitos since I had a lot of mint and limes and suggested them as an apertif. I think I'm going to make cooking new recipes a weekly thing.


Jan. 20th, 2010 08:07 pm
lady_kishiria: (Default)
I like rain and gloom aplenty if I don't have to go out in it. Yesterday I was in all day with Mei-Mei and had tea while huddling under my new Snuggie. I watched "Death of a Ghost Hunter" on Netflix Watch It Now. [profile] seki_raku, this movie has a five star story but one star acting, which is unfortunate. If you can hold your nose at the acting, it's pretty good.

Steve and I did go out in the rain today, but that was still fine. After I'd made eggs for his and Mei-Mei's breakfasts (I'm enjoying my Ezekiel 4:9 bread) we went out to Miramar to get new DOD decals for the car and to open a Navy Federal account. Tonight I made chicken chili, because that's what I had the ingredients for, and I followed up with Five Minute Chocolate Cake. This recipe is in Memories and make this note: if you replace the oil with melted butter it comes out a lot richer.

Confession time: a lot of you know I lean more towards the Eastern Orthodox in many of my beliefs. Chili is one of them. Steve, being a grandson of Texas, believes in chili as being meat and beans, served alone. This is a Catholic chili. I prefer my chili to be served over pasta in the fashion of the Greeks in Cinncinati. This clearly is an Orthodox chili. I hope I do not incur Roman wrath for my transgression.
lady_kishiria: (Food)
I have made this twice, including last night. It's very nice, so I'm posting it for [profile] prushrush, who like me loves to cook and for [personal profile] helenkacan who is a mad fan of the salmon.

1 cup half and half
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
12 oz skinless salmon, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon margarine or butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick (2 cups)*
3 cups hot cooked linguine
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Let cream and cheese come to room temperature. Put butter or margarine and olive oil in a pan and melt it. Add the salmon, cook until it flakes with a fork. Remove the salmon and add the zucchini. Stir fry until crisp-tender.

Reduce heat to low. Add cream, Parmesan, linguine, lemon peel, lemon juice and pepper to the pan. Toss till linguine is coated. Gently fold in salmon. Let it all heat up for a couple of minutes.

*I hate zucchini so I use peas.
lady_kishiria: (90th patch)

First episode is up.  I started to watch, but I stopped because I want to watch it with [ profile] americanstd .

Tonight's dinner is pasta and meat sauce (trying it with ground chicken) and for dessert, I made a puff pastry tart with almond paste and cherries.  I'd been thinking last week that my ultimate dessert would be something with almonds and cherries.  I realized I had almond paste that I'd bought to make a kringle (a Danish coffee cake that is a circle of yeast dough with an almond paste filling) and a pound or so of cherries, so I bought a box of puff pastry, rolled out the almond paste with my marble rolling pin that had been languishing for a couple of years now, and then topped it with the cherries after taking the pits out.  That was a hassle.  I tried using a knife and cutting them in half to get the pit out but realized just tearing the fruit apart was easier. It still took forever but the result looks tasty.  I took a photo; will update it later.

lady_kishiria: (Default)
We bought a new toaster oven today. It's got a much smaller profile than the old one and I'm thrilled about it.

I also bought a new flexible slotted spatula, since I'm going to try cooking whole fish filets in a wok and need such an item for lifting them, plus a silicon 8x8 square pan since my old one had Teflon flaking onto whatever I baked. No bueno.

Tonight's dinner is going to be aforementioned fish served with pasta and a light cream sauce. I'm not a huge fan of cream sauces (neither is my stomach) but I have pills for that and Steve loves them. I think it'll turn out well.

Next purchase is going to be a set of tall open-backed shelving for the kitchen, to maximize storage space while still keeping the microwave and coffee maker where they are. We want to dig ourselves in more with the cottage. Less expensive places are starting to open up around us, but A. we don't have the money to move, B. I might be called up any day now and this place is a perfect size for one person and C. our landlord seems very, very disinclined to raise rent, knock wood. We've been paying the same amount since November of 2006. This is probably because we've never been late on a single rent payment and if rents are falling around us and we don't want to move, he is in a good position.

Time to take care of my rose bushes.
lady_kishiria: (Food)
If you go to my "memories" section, you'll find a recipe for a bacon-cheese pie. It's in the category of what Bisquick terms an "impossible pie". This means it's a custard of egg, milk, and Bisquick, with different stuff thrown in.

I found a treasury of Impossible Pie recipes, including crab pie, taco pie, mac and cheese pie, and lemon pie.

I'm probably going to make the lemon pie tonight. I have all the ingredients and I'm a sucker for lemon and custard.

Right after I get the broccoli impossible pie out of the oven.

I once told Matt that the back of the Bisquick box was the only cookbook he needed. I stand by that.


Jan. 20th, 2008 10:04 am
lady_kishiria: (Food)
[personal profile] catdraco posted this initially. Sourdough is a low-glycemic bread and I love it. It's one of my favourite foods. So, why not grow my own starter and make it out of good whole-grain flour in order to contribute to family health? Plus, using starter you need something like FOUR INGREDIENTS to bake bread.

I have to wait until the weather turns warm again so the temperature in the kitchen cabinets will be high. The nightly lows are going to be mid-40s here in SD, so like my re-planting, it's going to have to wait.
lady_kishiria: (Food)
If you're allergic to crustaceans, ignore this. Everybody else, head over to the seafood counter at Pancho Villa and get a pound or so of the "combinacion de mariscos". It has clams, shrimp, surimi (boo), wee baby octopi (hurray, tentacles!) and chunks of squid.

Stir fry with red curry sauce.

As good as any restaurant, and I just spent $3.00 on this repast for two people.
lady_kishiria: (Food)
Okay, I'm working in National City and start every day at 0730. Normally I make breakfast for [profile] americanstd weekday mornings. I wanted to get a drop on tomorrow, so I have dinner in the crock pot ready to go, and breakfast parfaits in the fridge.

I sweetened plain low-fat yogurt with sugar-free vanilla syrup, cut up strawberries, and layered them with organic Grape-Nuts. Tomorrow I get to present him with this and I can't wait!

(Has nothing to do with the fact that I'm a total whore for strawberries, of course not!)

EDIT: Unlocked it now that he is wiggling with happiness on the couch, eating his breakfast parfait.

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