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Posts Tagged ‘Good Wife’

English: Irish dinner

Irish dinner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ha, ha, ha, I bet you thought I meant I was going to recycle more, use rags instead of paper towels, refuse to buy strawberries in March because in order to arrive here, they left a HUGE carbon footprint.  Sorry to disappoint my readers and dash their expectations that I might be looking at the world with a more global view to saving the earth for the next generation – oh no that’s not what I meant at all!!

This sunny but cold Sunday, the day before St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I would attempt, yes attempt to make my first Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner.  My husband is not sure why I’m thinking of doing this and now 3 days later, after I’ve bought the corned beef, the cabbage and the potatoes and carrots, I’m thinking the same thing!  If we were in NYC we might go out for our annual Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner as we have for the past umpteen years but we are not in NYC.  Actually we will be back in time to catch some of the world’s best and longest St. Patrick’s Day parade. However Monday holds a sacred place in my heart.  Everyone who knows me, knows that Monday night is Mah Jongg night and since there isn’t a Colleen in the group, no one other than me seemed to think St. Patrick’s Day deserved any special consideration.  Well that settled that.  No Irish supper for Peter and I on Monday!

I did consider taking advantage of the considerable Irish-American population at the Jersey Shore and thought we might dine tonight at Clancy’s Tavern,  The thought of enjoying a meal served and cleaned-up by someone else as well as the camaraderie of fellow diners and congenial drinkers certainly held its allure. BUT then I remembered how crazy Clancy’s can be; noisy, boisterous, and so loud, it’s hard to talk to your dinner partner!  It’s really more bar than restaurant, Irish to its core so I started thinking that probably a good portion of the population might take advantage of an extended St. Patrick’s Day celebration by starting early in the weekend, only to continue right through to Monday night!  AND then I remembered that on Sunday night a couple of my favorite TV shows are on, not to mention one of those rare occasions when I am in total control of the remote.  How could I think of missing The Amazing Race, 60 Minutes and especially The Good Wife.  I could DVR the shows but then I wouldn’t have the time to watch them because they would be on the TV in NJ and I’ll be heading back to NYC.  

So now that I’ve settled that in my mind, I took my crockpot out and am hoping the corned beef will cook to its fall-apart texture this afternoon while I’m out and about.  The packaging said to bring it to a boil and then cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours and add the vegetable an hour before meat is done. That flies in the face of most of the recipes I’ve read so I’m thinking 4 hours in the crockpot with the potatoes, carrots and onion on the bottom, topped with the corned beef will do the trick. I do hope it gets to bubbling point and then about an hour before I’ll toss in the cabbage.  carrots.  I happened to be on the phone with my cousin, Marian this morning, and she too was attempting a first time Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner.  However, she called her niece who writes a cooking blog and was told to put it in the slow cooker for 8 hours AND she put the cabbage, carrots and potatoes in with the meat right from the get go!  I advised her to at least remove the cabbage otherwise I think she would end up with cellulose and mashed potatoes.  We’ll compare notes later this evening, probably during the commercials!

Uh oh, I just took a good look at the photo I put in this post and see that the little red potatoes should have been left whole; I halved and even quartered some – I guess I will be the one with mashed potatoes!  Oh well, ERIN GO BRAUGH

 

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After a Sunday afternoon  parade of friends and family stopping by to see the new baby, life settled down a bit and Belle (Chiara’s nanny and household helper) and I made Eggplant Parmesan.  After dinner and baths (see photo) and thankfully bedtime for the girls, I sat myself down to watch all my favorite Sunday night TV shows;  Amazing Race, The Good Wife and The Mentalist.  I had to miss Masters of Sex and Homeland because they don’t have Showtime.  What does this have to do with the title of the blog? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

YES Daddy has a bathing suit on!

YES Daddy has a bathing suit on!

Day 1:  Up at 7am (ungodly hour) and the girls have to be dressed, fed and Finley starts school at 8am, Francesca at 8:15am.  Who’s driving them?  Me? What? I drive a Rav4 and a vintage Metropolitan (tiny) and they want me to drive a Tahoe!? Are you kidding me?  I am terrified of that car (and I use that term loosely since it is like a truck), not to mention I am now in Boynton Beach and uh, you want me to drive where?  Tom said he’ll ride shotgun and direct me and then we can get Starbucks.  A deal and I will learn how to use a GPS.

The rest of the day seems to just sail by, the nanny had the day off and the girls wouldn’t be back till 3pm. More friends dropped by and we heated up lots of leftovers for everyone for lunch.  What could possibly happen?  Well….when I was cleaning up I noticed a small square white ring on the dark wood table in the furnished rental house!   Nobody was around so I tried mayonnaise – didn’t work.  I tried furniture polish – didn’t work.  Google said mix ashes with water and rub gently BUT no one smokes here!  I tried vegetable oil-didn’t work.  I made a paste of salt and water and it darkened a bit. Google said  baking soda and water but I couldn’t find any in the house!  Who doesn’t have a box of baking soda in their house? or their  refrigerator??  The mark is darker but still there so I’m going to try to work on it again today.  Thankfully she doesn’t read my blog so she won’t know I did it and right now Fletcher is taking up all her time and energy, Whew!

I tried to master the Rainbow Loom;  You know the toy that 5 years olds can work – I couldn’t  get it right, perhaps you have to be 5 years old.  My first bracelet had a loop hanging, my second one didn’t quite come together so I gave up for a while anyway. Time to pick up ‘Cesca  and I was on my own – well that is me and Siri.

Dinner was later than usual and the girls were a bit on the wild side.  The many throw pillows from the couches seem to make their own version of a yellow brick road.  Foreshadowing!!  Tia called and Finley wanted to do FaceTime with her and I guess she had to pee too!  AND THEN, she came back into the living room and uttered seven words every parent dreads to hear; “I dropped your phone in the toilet”  OMG, OMG, OMG the iPhone5!?!?  Horror!  I have to hand it to Chiara, she was calm, she did not scream and she did not faint.  QUICK to the computer, what does Google say to do?  The phone was patted dry and immersed in a bed of rice, sealed in a plastic bag in less than 2 minutes!  Time to make a novena to St. Jude because seriously I think this is one of those impossibles! 

St. Jude Patron Saint of Things Impossible

St. Jude Patron Saint of Lost Causes and Things Despaired Of

Bedtime proved to be challenging; who wants another book read, who doesn’t want their water in a paper cup but rather must have a BIG glass, then the other also has to have a BIG glass, who needs to go downstairs to see Mommy – you’re getting the picture.  15 minutes later, Frankie is out of bed and coming down the stairs BECAUSE I made the mistake of telling her Mommy would come upstairs and then I never told Mommy.

I finally went to bed myself after trying once again to master the rubber band loom.  I did manage to produce what I thought was a pretty cool creation.  Sometime while it was still dark,  I heard Frankie calling out for Mommy.  Ay yi yi, I surely did not went get up, but I did.  I trekked up the stairs only to find Frankie with her father who was trying to convince her that now is really not the time to play.  I could not go back to sleep!  So I’m writing this under the influence of a very large Grande Americano – caffeine is a wonder drug!

 

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Oh wow, what a great time I had last night.  I was in my glory and in full possession of the remote.  Well if not the remote exactly, I did pick all the shows we were going to watch on Sunday evening.  I had it all planned out and then the football game  screwed up the line-up.  It started out with 60 Minutes  starting late and running over past 8:00.  I wanted to watch The Amazing Race, the only reality show I think worth watching, so since I also wanted to watch The Good Wife, my solution was to DVR both of them as I was watching them BECAUSE Masters of Sex and Homeland  followed at their regular times.  Oh my,  such planning;  Two TV’s on two different floors and only one with DVR capacity.  Such is life in the 2000 millennium.  

My plan did not quite work;  We watched the shortened version of 60 Minutes and The Amazing Race and three quarters of The Good Wife.  I happily went upstairs to watch SHOWTIME, content with the knowledge that afterwards, I could go downstairs and find out what Alicia was going to do as she was caught in the middle of a fiduciary dilemma.  Best laid plans and all that jazz, I just never took into account that the DVR  didn’t know that the football game had run late, it recorded The Good Wife from 9:00 to 10:00 and therefore the ending was never recorded! 😦

There was just enough chill in the air to warrant closing the window and making a hearty soup for dinner.  The soup was  Escarole, Canellini Beans and Sausage and it hit the spot on this fall Sunday evening.  I served it with some great chewy Italian bread.

1 pkg (1 1/2 #) Italian mild pork sausage patties ( I used hot poultry sausage)

3 TBS basting oil divided

8 oz chopped onions

3 cloves garlic chopped

1 pkg (15 oz) escarole

Salt and Pepper

1 carton chicken stock

1 can cannelloni beans, drained

1 cup ditalini pasta

lentils + escarole

ESCAROLE  (Photo credit: joannova, a/k/a foodalogue)

2 TBS lemon juice

Cut each sausage patty into 6 pieces and roll into balls.  Heat 1 TBS basting oil in a large braising pan on MED .  Add sausage balls and cook, turning to brown on all sides 3-4 minutes.  Remove sausage from pan and set aside. Discard pan drippings.

Return pan to heat, add remaining 2TBS of basting oil. Add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally 2-3 minutes until onions are translucent. Add garlic, cook, stirring till softened-1 min.  Add escarole, cook, stirring, 1-2 minutes until wilted.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in stock, beans and browned sausages.  Heat to boiling on MED-HI.  Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  Add pasta, simmer 10 minutes.  Add parsley and lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper.

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