Friday, September 24, 2010

Murphy Pride

It's no secret I really like the area of southern Illinois where Phil lives. Everywhere you look it's rolling hills and wineries that use locally grown grapes and fruits. It's pretty and it's laid-back and I appreciate the opportunity I've had to get to know a part of the country I didn't even know existed.

Last weekend Crystal and I drove the doggies down to Murphysboro. Chad arrived the next afternoon on his motorbike, and when Phil returned from a computer think in Kansas City a bit later in the afternoon, we all enjoyed all that Murphsyboro has to offer. Seriously, the town has like 3 cool things.
Of course we visited several wineries. I took this picture from the deck/porch/pavilion thing at Hedeman Winery, where we had coffee and pie.

Look out for the big bug in the tree! This is from the tiny town of Makanda, where hippie artisans half-assed a secret garden.

One of the bestest things about Murphysboro is the Apple Fest. Crystal and I went to the parade. It was like 2 hours long-- now THAT'S a parade! More pics from Apple Fest to come, if I can find them....

Friday, September 10, 2010

Food I Cooked For Other People

On our dinner night on vacation, I made my mom's lasagna. Being German and all, you know she can make a great pan of lasagna! It's really good-- seriously.

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 26 oz jar spaghetti sauce
12 lasagna noodles
16 oz cottage cheese
1/2 c. parmesan cheese
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
1 T dried oregano
8 oz. shredded mozzarella

Cook beef and onion until beef is browned, drain off grease. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer for a few minutes.
Heat oven to 350. Cook noodles if using the type that need to be pre-cooked (I use the type that don't need to be pre-cooked and there's no taste difference).
Mix together cottage cheese, 1/4 c. parmesan, parsley and oregano.
Spread 1 c. sauce mixture in ungreased 13x9 glass baking dish.
Top with 4 noodles.
Spread 1 c. of the cheese mixture over the noodles.
Spread with 1 c. sauce mixture.
Sprinkle with 2/3 c. mozzarella.
Repeat with 4 noodles, remaining cheese mixture, 1 c. sauce and 2/3 c. mozzarella.
Top with remaining noodles and sauce mixture.
Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and 1/4 c. parmesan.
Cover with foil and bake 30 min. Uncover and bake 20 minutes more until bubbly and browning. Let stand about 20 minutes before cutting.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Food Other People Cooked

I like cooking, especially for other people, but it's pretty nice to have someone cook for me once and awhile. Vacation week was filled with delicious food prepared by some of my lovely and talented friends.
The Laheys rocked the house with their veggie-fied chicken and noodles. I especially liked the addition of diced red peppers.

Laheys also provided a quick breakfast for Phil and me when they accidentally made too many microeggs. I believe each coffee cup contained two beaten eggs, cheese, green onions and lunch meat. Microwave for two minutes and here's breakfast! I had a piece of toast too. I think Laheys made like an egg mcmuffin-type thing. And if you use just one egg you just have to microwave for one minute.

Hartmans made a delish shredded chicken for burrito night. I think they put peppers, onions, and Mexican spices in a crockpot with several chicken breasts and let it simmer all day. I mean, I know they used the crockpot and the chicken, and I think I saw some pepper cutting early in the day, and I think I recall John talking about cumin. Roy's legendary guacamole is not shown, but was wonderful.

We were served a surprise meal in Raleigh before we headed back home. Annie got up early enough to home-make hashbrowns, poach eggs, and cook or re-heat and thinly slice whatever kind of beef that is for her upscale steak and eggs. Don't forget the basil garnish! This was a killah breakfast.

Wondering why the first and third photos look so good in this post? They were professionally photographed by Mark Lahey, of Mark Lahey Images. If you need a photographer for an upcoming event, find him on facebook. Or ask me for his number.

Old Blog

Just in case your bookmark menu is too long to be able to find my old blog url, here it is:

You remember those posts, when I was unemployed and cooked all the time? Ahhh, those were the days. Now that I'm employed most of my meals are microwaved, and I don't think you'd be interested in seeing a steaming bowl of frozen Indian food, so I don't photograph that stuff.

Also, lots of great stuff happened on vacation last week, so I'll post copious amounts of pics and tales soon!