Friday, May 27, 2011


Thank you Wealthy At Charles for your lovely comments about Michigan Cottage Cook.  Tom and I love our Oscuro, but due to his illness we were not able to use it as much as we would have liked.  I plan to have many more recipes using our three different Oscuro pans.

I have used the "wok" looking pan very successfully.  The following web address will lead you to the recipes I have done.  The first address shows my son-in-law receiving his first Oscuro pot.

I am eager to try the smallest Oscuro.  The one that we call the "little pot."  After working with Oscuro, I know the little pot will be fantastic for sauces.  It retains heat plus you can cook at a very low heat with it.  I think this would be the perfect pot for making rue for Cajun cooking.

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!!





Wednesday, May 25, 2011


The Nantucket Baking Company is not far from the hospital where Tom received his treatment in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  They specialize in old-world artisan breads and pastries.  I miss running into the bakery and grabbing a slice of their wonderful pizza. 

My favorite treat to bring home was their Sliced Tomato Focaccia.  I love bread.  Bread soothes and comforts me.  They say you can't live by bread alone, but I'd like to try.  This personal-sized focaccia is a party in your mouth. The toppings on this focaccia would also make a superb pizza.   

For a person-size focaccia, put some olive oil in the pan so the crust soaks it up as it bakes.  I will have a recipe for personal-sized focaccia soon.  One of Tom's last gifts to me was a brand new bread machine.  

Nantucket's focaccia dough is brushed with basil pesto and then sprinkled with chopped fresh garlic.  It is very garlicky.

The garlic is covered with fresh baby spinach leaves.  The spinach leaves are topped with pieces of goat cheese.

Thinly sliced Roma tomatoes and Greek olives top the goat cheese.

Grated Asiago cheese is sprinkled over the focaccia before baking.

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!  I do!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Tom has been "Gone to Glory" for almost a month.  Of course, since he has gone everything that he took care of, or that he was wizard for, has broken down including my blog program.  I am trying to get it fixed.  I will keep trying so please bear with me.


Pancit is a wonderful rice noodle dish from the Philippines.  Rice noodles do not have to be cooked.  They are soaked before using. This recipe can be used as a guide so you can use the meat and vegetables of  your choice.


Pancit is made with thin rice noodles.  All I could find at my largest grocery store was Linguine-style rice noodles.  They worked fine but  I think the dish is prettier with the thin noodles.  Chinese-style thin noodles work well too.

From left to right:  Linguine-style rice noodles, thin rice noodles, and Chinese noodles.

The fine rice noodles which I would like to have used.  The Chinese noodles are also very fine.

Do not omit the limes from this recipe.  A squeeze of lime gives Pancit a wonderful fresh flavor.  The lime juice brightens up all the different ingredients in the dish.

If you would like to use shrimp in your Pancit, but the budget is tight.  Try this trick from Chinese restaurants.  Cut the shrimp in half down the back.  This gives you two shrimp shapes for the price of one.

Two pieces of shrimp for the price of one.

In Asian countries noodles are always served at celebrations and birthdays as noodles represent longevity and good health.  For this recipe, I used a recipe from the Filipino Club that demonstrated Filipino food at the Grand Haven library.  I added some ingredients that I had enjoyed in other pancits I have had.

1 (8oz) pkg. thin rice noodles, I used 14 oz.
½ lb. skinless, boneless, chicken thighs 
½ lb. pork tenderloin, cut into bite-size pieces, optional
½ c soy sauce
1/2 t ground black pepper or to taste
1/2 T salt
2 T cooking oil 
½ medium head Napa cabbage, shredded, I used 2 cups
1 to 2 carrots, shredded
1 large stalk celery, thinly sliced
1/4 lb. snow peas, trimmed and sliced
2  or more green onions, chopped into 1-inch pieces
Green onions for garnish
½ lb. shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined, optional
4 limes
Ingredients:  Chicken, pork, rice noodles, soy sauce, Napa cabbage, carrots, celery, pea pods, cooking oil, shrimp, limes, salt and pepper.
Place rice noodles in a large bowl and cover with warm water.  When soft, cut into 4-inch lengths, drain and set aside.  Put enough water into a pan to cover chicken thighs.   Bring water to a boil.  Add chicken and simmer until the center of the chicken is no longer pink.  Remove chicken and reserve liquid.  Shred chicken and reserve.  In a skillet or wok, over medium heat,  heat cooking oil and brown the pork until no pink shows.  Season with soy sauce, salt, and pepper.  Remove from skillet and set aside.  Sauté cabbage, celery, pea pods and carrots until  tender.  Stir in the noodles, green onions and shrimp.  Cook for 4 to 5 minutes.  Stir in the chicken and pork; cook for 5 more minutes.  Add reserved chicken broth if mixture is too dry.  Serve garnished with chopped green onions and lime slices.

Poach chicken in simmering water until no pink shows in the center.    Remove the chicken and reserve the liquid.

Shred chicken and reserve.

Slice pork into thin slices.

Put noodles into a bowl.

Soak as directed on package.

Clean carrot and celery.

Slice celery.

Slice snow peas.

Slice cabbage.  I will use 3 to 4 cups next time I make Pancit instead of the 2 cups I used this time.

Shred carrots.

Slice cabbage.

Vegetables are ready.

Clean the onions.  

Slice the onions.

Be sure the black vein is gone from the back of the shrimp.

Cut shrimp in half, if desired.

Drain noodles.

Put cooking oil in a pan or wok.  Heat on medium heat.

Add pork and stir fry until pink color is gone.

Add chicken to cooked pork.

Add soy sauce, black pepper, and salt.

Remove meats and reserve.

Add more cooking oil if necessary.  Add celery and snow peas.

Stir fry.

Add carrots and cabbage.  Stir fry until crisp tender.

Add onions, shrimp and drained noodles.

Stir to mix.

Add meats and stir well.

Cook together for 4 to 5 minutes.  Add reserved chicken liquid if mixture gets to dry.

Garnish with lime slices.

Pile on your plate, add a squeeze of lime juice and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Tom and I are blessed not only with wonderful Grandchildren, but extremely talented ones.  The following link will take you to the wonderful music our oldest Grandson wrote for his Grandpa.  As Tom wrote on his Facebook page, "I am one lucky Opa!"


Friday, May 13, 2011


Before Tom was married, he lived in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  The land of tall trees.  After a business trip, he went to the vet kennels to pick up his dog, George.  The receptionist brought him out a dog and he left.  He got to the car and thought George had gone senile while he was away as the dog would not obey any of Tom's commands.  Tom finally loaded up the dog and headed up the highway to his home.  The dog was acting strangely.  Tom couldn't figure out what was the matter with George.  Then Tom looked at the collar.  The dog was not George.  A quick U-turn had Tom speeding back down the mountain.  As he entered the vet's office he heard a howling and the sound of toenails digging into wood floors.  George knew Tom had been there so this time George wasn't going to let Tom leave without him.  

I use to look at Tom and ask, "How could you pick up the wrong dog?"  Tom never had an answer.  However, when we take Izzy to the groomer it would be easy to pick up the wrong dog.  I always say, "Izzy is that you?"

Shaggy is in.

Izzy's face says she is ready to take on anything.

Bring it on.

Izzy is a trooper.  She braves power doors, elevators, and tries to imitate  Katrinka, her German Shepherd "sister" who passed over, by barking to protect me.  The problem is she likes to bark from behind me.  When Katrinka was alive, Izzy would stand under Katrinka to bark at strangers.

Izzy goes the the groomer looking like a ruffian. She is shaggy and looks ill-kept.  When she comes home I am never quite sure she is the same dog.  For one thing with her hair trimmed, she looks like she is half her usual size. 

She looks so small with her hair trimmed.

 Look at that well trimmed nose.  She looks ready for a dog show.

 Her feet are so small after trimming.  They no longer look like snow shoes.

As the song goes, "I'm so pretty, I'm so pretty.......