Mom’s Ultra Thin Home Fries

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Tonight we sort of had a breakfast and brunch type of food for dinner.  Necessity is the mother of invention, and I must say that the best meals evolve from whatever one happens to have left over around the house.  I had some sauteed pepper and onions left from a couple of days ago.  I heated them in my small skillet, added a handful of diced mozzarella, and then whipped up two eggs, poured it over the top, covered and lowered the heat, and voila, it turned out to be a delcious frittata.

I had found some amazing miniature Yukon Golds at my local green market on Saturday.  I had made a fish fry and baked them as an accompaniment.  About a dozen were left over just sitting in a bowl in the fridge.  I decided to make my Mom’s famous ultra thin and crispy home fries.  My husband, Wayne, absolutely loves anything potato, and if it is a home fry, well that just sends him home.

My mother’s method for these is so simple, yet delectably mouth watering.  The secret is the “chilled potato”.  Take out a nice large skillet that you are very familiar with and absolutely know that no sticking will occur.  Pour in about 1/4 inch of olive oil and when it is good and hot, drop in your thinly sliced, chilled potatoes.  You are blessed if you can find these small Yukon Golds.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and just a dash of garlic powder.

Let the potatoes brown on one side for a minute or two, and then flip them over to crisp up on the other side.  Repeat this over and over, until you have a pan full of the best in town crispy home fries ever!!!!

We ate every morsel. Even the tiny crispy pieces clinging to the side of the pan.  Now that’s a potato worth writing about.  (Thank you again, Mom.  I know she is smiling down on me.)

No Gluten Free Pastas Today

Fresh fruit gluten free by the daisies

I did not cook gluten free pasta today.  In fact, I did not cook at all today.  Quite frankly, I have been quite exhausted lately, and I proclaimed a day of rest.  My sister,  Grace, endorsed me on my decision to take a day to nurture mind, body, and soul.   It was rainy all morning, but by early afternoon, the sun was shining, and it turned out to be a lovely Florida spring day.

Wayne and I are enjoying the fruits of our labor from last weekend.  Last Sunday, we planted flowers in pots, wild flower seeds, some small basil plants as well as sweet basil seeds.  The flowers received a good soaking from mother nature, and they just looked so radiantly beautiful in the freshly washed sunshine.   Here I am holding my dish of “naturally gluten free” fresh fruit (fresh papaya and raspberries, to be precise) in front of our daisies.

Below are snaps of our other flowers and our basil and wildflower seedlings.  It is fun to go out on the patio each day and watch them grow inch by inch out of the soil.

It was good to tend the garden of my heart today.  The day is closing and I do feel a deep sense of peace both physically and mentally.

Sometimes you just have to stop the cooking……………and smell the flowers!

Patio flowersimg_0574-2img_0563-2Yellow begongias img_0583-2Wildflower seedlings

Taking a walk with God

Shepherd and His sheep
I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. - John 10:14

I took a long walk after work today. It was the start of dusk. The sun hung low in the spring sky. Yellow rays streamed through the verdant branches of the many beautiful live oaks in my neighborhood. They have withstood hurricane winds and still look lovely. Moms pushed their babes in carriages. Friends strolled together and walked their dogs. Joggers looked intent as they left me in the dust. People walked. People talked. People alone. People with others. The sky was enchanting. I walked with God. Sometimes we would converse. Sometimes I would be silent, so as not to miss His wondrous voice. He gave me divine gifts of the Word to become a sturdy wall to lean my weary mind against. Strength. Sun. Shield. Grace. Glory. Strength. The Lord is my strength. Simple concept yet so complex. But most importantly, reassuring. I started out my day actually forgetting those vitally important words from Psalm 27. I started out my walk as the sheep that had wandered away. I turned the corner to “return home”. The sky was orange with sunset by then. A cool breeze kissed both my cheeks with a loving hello. I took a walk with God and He embraced me.

Indeed, the Lord is my strength.

Chilly Day Tuscan Soup Pot

Tuscan soup and gluten free French rolls

A hearty one-dish meal for those wintry evenings.  We even have some of those bone chilling days in Orlando, Florida.  Wayne and I welcome a bowl of this steamy, delicious soup packed with a variety of vegetables and beans.  As an accompaniment, I love Gillian’s French gluten free rolls, toasted and buttered (pictured above).

Ingredients

4 Tablespoons good quality olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 large stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 large carrots, diced
3 cans of beans, your choice, kidney, chick peas, or cannellini
3 cups washed and torn escarole leaves
1 large (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, diced (I love Dei Fratelli brand-close to fresh)
Bay leaf
1/2-1 teaspoon dried thyme, to your taste
1/2 cup fresh chopped Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1-2 precooked chopped Italian sausages
3 quarts chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

Method

In a large soup pot, saute onion, celery, garlic and carrot together for several minutes, until flavors emerge.

Add beans, broth, and seasonings.

Add torn escarole leaves  once soup starts to simmer.

Add sausage and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Bring to boil, then lower heat, and simmer for about 1 hour.

Check your seasoning and adjust.

Serve piping hot in soup bowls and shave some fresh Parmigiana on top.

Delicious!

A Windy March Day, Spicy Sausage, and Gratitude

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 It is a beautiful March day here in Orlando.   These are the sublime days that we Floridians live for.  The windows are open and the breeze is rustling the palms out back.  The artistic March winds are painting lovely formations on the surface of our little lake.  My windchimes resound with music.  

Today I tried Niman Ranch Spicy Italian Uncured Sausage.  It is made with pork  raised without antibiotics or hormones and vegetarian fed. It is also gluten free! This is the second Niman Ranch product I have tried, and it turned out to be excellent.  The chilly and windy day created perfect conditions to step outside while you are cooking, and then come back in the house to become enamored with those delicious aromas!!!!  

I sauteed peppers and onions to go with the sausage, and then I served it up on a gluten free bun.  Unfortunately, I had run out of Gillians french rolls.  They are the best out there.  I served it a toasted Kinnikinnick hot dog bun, and it was quite tasty.  But watch out, because the spicy sausage lives up to its name with a little bit of a kick!

I sit in the living room later and think back.  The peppers and onions sautee in a pan. A lovely cool breeze arrives to enhance their aroma.  The sausage sizzles.  There is the sound of dinner plates being stacked to be brought to the table. People who love you enjoying the fruits of your labor.  It is like the entire experience of the meal has given me a warm hug, and that spells “comfort food” to me.

 

Spicy Gluten Free Sausage, Pepper and Onions

Ingredients

  1. 1 large onion sliced
  2. 2 red peppers, cleaned and sliced
  3. 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  4. 1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped
  5. 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian blend seasoning
  6. 1/2 jar of your favorite marinated roasted peppers
  7. Salt and pepper to taste
  8. 1 package Niman Ranch Spicy Italian Uncured Sausage

Method

  • Brown the sausages per package directions, and set aside; pour off fat
  • Place olive oil, onions, pepper, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper into hot skillet
  • Saute together until onions are slightly carmelized and peppers are almost tender
  • Add marinated roasted pepper; heat through
  • Add sausage to pepper mixture
  • Serve on toasted gluten free rolls or buns