This Is My Office

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I spend a lot of time here. There was no preconceived design. No dream kitchen. This galley evolved as I found myself cooking more and more. When you – the parents – lay out a philosophy on how you wish to feed your family, the execution and equipment follow. As the beef Bourguignonned, I would hammer drill some racks to hold my pots and hang a ladle and some tongs. The curry needs a half hour to bubble, I’ll hang these cabinets. And so it went.

Sure, I should have slapped some paint up. I should also remove the old light fitting from the retired wiring. At this point, I might miss it. It’s art now.

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When the baby is sleeping and I’ve done my brush cutting duty, I come here and think about food. What do I do for dinner? Those leftovers, ginger- onion stir-fry, over cooked broccoli, potato dauphinoise, intense tomato sauce, roast pork, how can I move this? This is my happy place. It’s warm. It’s warm from the oven cooking meringue that I’m making because I made blanquette de Veau a few days ago. It’s warm from Fremont the wood burner heating “The Mess” and this galley because of a thick, red velvet curtain, curtainsy of Ikea, that traps the warmth.

I see a backsplash I should mount properly, but I don’t because it’s easier to clean this way and besides, I need to work out the tile-to-wall gap. I see duck fat, lard and butter ready for action. I see dishes backed-up do to weekend kids and craziness. I see a kozmo.com magnet that I cherish because it reminds me of crazy times when people believed in crazy ideas.

I love this little kitchen of ours. The hours I spend here challenge me to build something yummy with what I have right now in this fridge, in this house. The hours I spend here feed my family. We feed them well so they can grow.

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Katty Grills Veg and It Tastes Good!

Grillin'

Allo, allo, allo! At last, a fine day for the first grill of the season.  Katty (also pronounced kah-ee with a Scottish flair), our resident vegetarian, has whipped up some grub so fine you wouldn’t believe it don’t have any meat!  Being vegetarian provides a unique opportunity when partaking in some grilling.  As a vegetarian guest at bbqs, Katty would often get halloumi which is a greek cheese that is good for grilling.  I’ve not had it personally, but if at every bbq I was served grilled cheese, it would get a bit old.  In America as one of those crazy veg-heads that would arrive hungry at a bbq, I would get portabello mushroom burger.   These giant mushrooms on a grill have always been dry and flavorless soaking up every bit of moisture in my mouth no matter how marinated they were. I’d usually end up with a bit too much beer and not enough food, but made for a fun evening…weeeee!  Katty’s husbo claims he can do a portabello mushroom right.  I suppose we’ll have to see about that and get Katty to work his fancy pants Scottish secrets.
Katty of the Swing


Katty with Food Avacado and Stuff on Grill

For this grill, Katty made Spicy Goat Cheese Parcels. Or my nickname, Cabbage Sacks because “wrap” is so last decade.  With that, she pulled together the most delicious salad from her garden.  It’s March, people!  She’s picking lettuce!  As a spur of the moment she added to that grilled avocado halves …. Um yum.  I so love the spur of the moment creations at grilling time.  And for the meatwads in the audience, a homemade Boudin Noir which is Black Pudding or Blood Sausage (muah ha ha!).  Despite the bipolar intentions, the whole meal for this omnivore was scrumptious.  Each devine piece will get it’s own write up following shortly.
full meal deal
Strawberries with Chocolate
Don’t forget the strawberries! A little melted chocolate with a touch of cream takes a innocent fruit and transcends it to a swirly chocolaty fun-fest.

New Grill With Brains

Grilled Brains For Dinner?

Doing a little research on the things that one can grill over in these Euro-peean parts I came across a British advertisement for a GREAT deal (30p off!) on six pork brain faggots! There are many reasons why Americans find this product funny. Two of which are
1) no one eats brains in America
2) no one calls little falafel looking fritters “faggots”
but I won’t kick a brain outta bed for being called a faggot, there might be some delicious unknown ready to be discovered with the right dippin’ sauce and if homegirl is grilling it, I’ll be first in line to give it a try.

But more importantly …
There’s a new grill in town and she’s feel-ing good! After many a good memory on the ol’ Weber, this grill girl has hit the road leaving Mr. Faithful behind. She likes the guys in the “R-rated” movies … especially those with subtitles. And so we will be taking our grill and making it all grillades French style – yo. Yes, the French grill too! The charcoal is a bit different and the grills are more oveny open fiery like. Should be good. The cuts of meat are different, but with enough marinade and Belgian beer I’m sure it’ll all even out to recipes anyone can use in any country.

Meet The New Grill

Pamela Saves and Grills Too!

pammela tatts

Another GORGEOUS day in Seattle. The clouds were out, the temperature at a comfortable high fifties, yes, Spring was in the air somewhere (Siberia maybe?). Mighty Pamela whipped up a pile of food for some hungry dudes who popped over for a lunch break. Pups at her side she made Rubbed Chicken On A Stick, Naked Veggies and Potatoes. Pamela has lived in the South which started her taste for great Southern barbeque. As she says, “I don’t like sweet shit,” this girl sticks to grill flavor while playing with the aromatics. For the chicken on sticks, Pamela marinated the night before in Stubb’s Rub. This is really good shit and made the chicken taste divine. The veggies on sticks, were left to fend for themselves on the grill naked. Their inner juices came out and made friends with the aromatic bling. A little tin can suspiciously similar in shape to a sterilized cat food tin filled half full with a semi-tasty Northwest beer and rosemary was nestled in with the grillings. That little can did amazing things to the food. The chicken and veggies had something clever to bring to the table. The potatoes were on a grill of their own. They took longer to cook, so Pamela popped them on early to let them get soft and yummy potato like.

aroma can with veg sticks

All grilling was carefully supervised by a company of animals frolicking about the yard. Pamela runs a cat rescue primarily helping feral cats. She’ll catch them in a friendly, safe way to have them spayed or neutered. The cats will also get an extended stay if they are expecting babies. There were two litters of sweet, little kittens chillaxin’ in their quarters while the grill was going on. After the feral cats are looked after, they are returned near the caretaker’s house where they were found. Pamela can be contacted if you want a fluffy kitten sitting on your lap.

pamela grilling

pups by the grill

pamela pup and pamela

kitty

pups

Brindle Pup Available

wee kitty

These Kittens Available

More pictures of Pamela and the furry family –>

Amber and Natasha Brunch Barbie

Amber and Natasha

It was a lovely day at the massage school when Amber bounced on a gym ball. Natasha, appreciating the carefree spirit of Amber’s bouncing, took in the “that looks like a lot of fun” moment. Then in her cute-but-short skirt, Amber took a final bounce ass over tea kettle to land in a pile of giggle. From that moment on, Natasha and Amber have been BFF. As for Girl On Grill Action™, they clearly worked the grill together like they’d done it many times before. Yet this was there first time.

champers
Natasha Amber

Peach Surprise, Funky Potato Egg and Tangosas to the table. Oh yes and Natasha’s experimental Egg On Grill which both amazed and surprised us.

Every grill girl starts with something bubbly. This morning it was champagne time. But wait! There is some tangerine juice in the refrigerator … sounds like a Tangosa. Natasha put half champagne half tangerine juice to make a lovely drink for the barbeque brunch. Argyle 2002 was used. Its sweetish flavor lends itself quite nicely to morning mixers.

The Peaches were halfed and lemon juiced. Amber put a few on the grill for shits and giggles while the rest went into a foil pouch. When those puppies were ready, the aroma of hot, steamy peaches was unbelievable. The girls popped on the nutty topping with some cream using only their fingers to enjoy the sweet treat. No forks were used in the eating of these peaches.

mmm peach! lemon falling on peaches mmmm more peach

During the peach phase, Natasha did a little egg dance before she popped it on the grill shell and all. Having no idea what would happen when you put an egg on a grill, the girls sipped their Tangosas with heated anticipation. The pure joy of Natasha face when she gently cracked the egg to find a beautiful, soft cooked egg was moving. Would she do it again? Perhaps as a party trick.

For the egg dish, the girls worked out a little foil boat for the eggs to cook in. Natasha put a layer of potatoes on the bottom and popped the eggs on top. This dish took a while to get its magic going on. In the end it tasted a tad bit bland. Thankfully there was some pico de gallo salsa to zest it up to make for a DELICIOUS funky frittata of sorts.

Amber and Natasha had a blast with brunch grilling. Who knew it would be so easy as well as tasty. In true Grill On Grill Action™ form, these gals could go all night. Both were scavenging about the house to find other things to try on the grill. Bananas, pecans what have you all thrown to the grill god to for some yummy food experimentation.

magic egg dance
perfect egg!
amazing aroma of cooked peaches
sugar and nuts happy nutmeg grinding bringing friends together

Maggie Mags, A Chook and PBR Up the Wazoo

Maggie

Maggie, fierce business woman and chef extraordinaire, up in the Seattle area on a business trip carved out some time to pop over and whip up some grub on the grill. Lucky for us, she brought the house down with her chicken and potatoes. Rounded out with some Romanesque Broccoli to tick off the “yes I ate my greens today” box.

She used:
Two Chickens, Organic
Beer or Pabst Blue Ribbon
Onion
Lemon
Beer Probes, Anal
Fingerling Potatoes
Romanesque Broccoli
Tim Tams!! … while you wait
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Garlic
Wine with a cockerel on it for fun factor

pb arrrr! chooks in the grill
whaaaah tim tams Romanesque Broccoli
Maggie and PBR

Maggie slickered the chickens up with some extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. She also used some lemon to squidge on both outside and inside the chook. The chicken was fluffed and ready for what rectal pleasures lie ahead. The beer probe was quite simple to prep. Find the right PBR to pop in the beer hole. Sample a few to make sure you have the right flavor and bubblage. Maggie brought over a case of PBR to broaden her selection. Once the beer was opened, sipped and in, she popped on the chicken … and giggled profusely. Stick an onion down the neck and it’s ready for the grill. Maggie lifted off the top grill of the barbeque and got right in there with the charcoal. She made a ring of charcoal so the chicken could sit comfortably in the middle then put the lid on. Off she went to prep the fingerlings.Again, the fingerlings were left to do their thing with the help of salt, pepper, garlic and some extra virgin olive oil. Mags popped those in a snuggy, foil wrap and placed them next to the chicken. Which left time for a little Tim Tam break. Nothing wets the appetite like the sweet, chocolaty forplay of a Tim Tam. Cuz enough is just never enough. Okay, Romanesque Broccoli time. A bit tricky and Maggie would say that she’d like to give it another try. The end result was a bit dry and came out with brown tips. No matter, the broccoli was but a mere bit part to the spectacular that was chook and pots. Maggie did a quick meat temp check on the two beauties (chicken is 165˚F internal) and the dinner was done. Girrrl / Boyee / what have you, let me tell you me, that chicken was moist, hot and deeelicious. Maggie was so convincing with her tale of how good chicken made this way was, but for us skeptics, you have to taste it to believe it. I’m not into novelty, deep fried poultry type cooking, but seriously, the chicken was amazing and that’s not the PBR talking. The chicken was perfect. The potatoes … don’t get me started on the potatoes. They were also amazing with their barbeque, smoky flavor, fluffy on the inside, firm on the outside texture. Yum yum. Maggie did it all. From charcoal to mouthful she put out a meal simple to construct and powerful in flavor and HOT oh so hot.

 

two chooks, side by side, but they are one
no pbr?  champers!
chook ahoy oy popping the chook on the probe grilling maggie
chook and chick tongs
chook and pots

Lynda and The Herd

Lynda

Lynda whipped up a feast to satisfy all types of gastronomique pleasures. Pork, lamb, beef, chook and goodness even crab! This grilling extravaganza is affectionately referred to as The Herd Platter. Basically take your meaty goodness and marinate it in whatever strikes your fancy boat floating and you’re half way there.

Shopping List:

Beef
Pork chops
Lamb cutlets
Weiners
Chicken pieces
Crab … real crab not K-rab
Potatoes, cute and little
Spring mix lettuce
Avocado
Red and Yellow Bell Peppers
Eggplant
Carrots
Onions
Fresh Herbs (pronounced Her – bs in Aussie)

herd on the grill

And with every herd you need some veg and dessert to round out the fun. Lynda created the most amazing grilled veggie salad. Grilled peaches for dessert and even Zoe the dog was snuggling in for a little ciesta post feast.

All this made on a grill that fell off the back of a truck to travel 110 km down a major Australian freeway. Definitely our fastest grill by far on our Girl On Grill Action adventure.

All the meat was cooked in stages with the beef arriving last to the party. Lay out everything on the table with some fresh, whole wheat pita and your Herd Platter will not disappoint.

Zoe and the fastest bbq in australia quick drink break girl preps veg
mmm peaches

The Australian bush view from this site was astounding. The weather hot, the cicadas loud and the smell of the herd mingling and sizzling was mouth watering. A great lazy day to yap, giggle and chow down on amazing food. The hot grilled vegetables on the cold salad was an amazing experience of sensory explosion only to collapse into a sweet pool of hot peaches and cool cream. The Herd platter is definitely worth repeating. When you do, plan a day of it, there’s plenty to prepare, plenty to eat and a whole lot of loving conversation to have while you work your way through.


australian bush

grilled peaches and blurry cream

Emily, Duck!

This is Emily

Sure it’s a tit freezing day in Seattle. Sure finding charcoal amongst candy canes, fruitcake and brass plated golf tees can be trying. But leave it to Emily, our master chef of the day, to wrangle the crowds scouting out banana leaves, choice duck breast and put out a 3-D cookie with style.

Girl On Grill Action done in cookie medium

Shopping List:
Duck Breasts
Marmalade for a some slimy, sticky sweet breast rub action
Banana Leaves
Masa
Azuki Beans (sweetened red beans)
Carrots with their tops on, modest
Green Onions (Scallion, Spring Onions, same shit)
Butter
Dates
Something fizzy and fabulous to drink

aaah. perty

The fancy beans and banana leaves were picked up at our local Asian grocer de especial Uwajimaya. A place so fine you can pick up what’s for dinner and still leave with some Cream Collon and Totoro books.

emily

To warm things up a bit, Emily lit the coals and cracked open Kirkland’s finest champagne.

mmmm. bubbles

Rachel popped by as well and a champagne taste off commenced. Veuve Clicquot vs Costco’s Kirkland Signature Champagne. Kirkland was up first.

kirkland's finest vs fancy label

Shockingly nice. Good bubble. Another sip is well deserved. Both Rachel and Emily sported the frown nod for Kirkland’s finest. Veuve Clicquot next, huh, a bit bitter. Nice, but how much nicer than Kirkland? Worth extra change for the privilege of advertisement? Both seemed to be solid bottles of mass produced, non-vintage champagne. One bottle starts at forty bucks while the other a mere twenty.

a sip of Kirkland a sip of voov rachel sips

Then the duck was on. Duck fat doing it’s duck fat thing agitated the coals and we had ourselves an impressive flame.

flamey

rachel paints her nails

Carrot girl handed our master chef the carrots and the grill was lidded. After a rest and a failed attempt at a foil bird, the green onions were on. The flames are hot, so don’t go for a refill. Minus a few casualties, the onions were perfect. The sweet tango of duck, caramelized carrot and grilled green onions danced in the mouths of these girls as the morsels were eaten –no- devoured and washed down with a fine bottle of generic champagne.

Go go carrot girl

 

foiled duck

mmmm duck plate combo

Quick shoe break as the Endless shipment arrived (free overnight shipping oh maw gaw!! If loving Endless is wrong GIRL, I don’ wanna be rightah) and it’s on to dessert.

SHOES!!! Pink cowgirl boots!! GET OUT!!!

Emily quickly whipped up some dessert tamales with sweet red beans and a surprise date all snuggled with masa then bundled and tucked in a banana leaf. After a little sit on the grill, these little babies came out steamy hot and melted in the mouth. Another impressive concoction to dazzle and amaze your friends. And easy to boot!

girl on grill chat

Rachel’s inner chocolate daemon scouted out some frozen brownie bites. This led to grilled brownie done two ways. Version one, straight up brownie on grill action. Version two, hey! banana leaves! … let’s stick some in here!

mmmmm. brownie

The straight up brownie was warm and tasty, but quite dry. The banana leaf version was warm, moist yet had this banana leaf overtone that impersonated green tea. Not this girl’s style.

more grill chat

Okay, so the duck breast, carrot, green onion combo plate converged on a Grand Canyon at sunset color, the taste was FABULOUS. Emily closed down the fall barbeque season with sass. And in true Girl On Grill Action™ form, she walked in the door and it was on.

grillin' and chattin let's go eat

grilin' more grillin'

this way to more photeez –>