Sunday, February 14, 2010


Got a stale piece of bread? You've got croutons for two!

Here's how. Cube bread. Heat skillet.

Put bread cubes in skillet. Turn heat to high. Spray liberally (or not so much, depending on your mood) with Pam (non-stick cooking oil spray).

Turn heat to 'medium'. Add herbs of your choice. Tonight, for me, it was garlic powder and "herbs de provence", which is a blend of lavender, thyme, and other 'typique' herbs of southern France.

Saute, stirring frequently, keeping heat to medium (depending on your stove and its heat), until all sides of each piece of bread are browned or golden.

Et, c'est fini! That is it! You have croutons from that stale piece of bread you were thinking of tossing. Serve and smile.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


My sister, Leslie, brought me some dried Morels, from her last trip to France.
Tonight, Pork Chops were on the menu, Chez Cat Fur Studio. Actually, I was not supposed to be in town at all tonight. I was supposed to fly out to San Diego at 7:30 this morning. A surfing vacation for moi coming up, s'il vous plait!

But a big snowstorm has kept me homebound. In fact, my re-book, for tomorrow at 7:30, has also been cancelled, and now I'm to fly out at 2 PM, and through Phoenix (groan), adding 2 hours to my trip, so I will miss a get-together I've been anticipating for a while (double groan). But it looks like my 1 PM Monday surf lesson is still on. Un-groan. Double-yay!

SO. Cooking.

I'd been conserving the Morels for use at an auspicious time,which, I decided would be tonight. So, in typical conserving mode, I used only about six of the Morels, leaving plenty for a later use. After all, I OPENED the container. That was all I could do for today. Using some was enough...

The directions on the Morel container say to hydrate the morels in hot water for 20 minutes, and subsequently to put them in boiling water. These directions are en Francais, so I THINK that is what they said. So I did what I thought I should do, and I ended up with edible morels. I sliced them, and put them into my saute pan, in which I'd been frying some onions with bacon fat and salt and pepper. The onions were on low heat for almost one hour. I put in the morels, then added the morel soaking water, in which I'd dissolved about 2 tablespoons of flour. This made a nice bed onto which I perched each finished pork chop. On top of the chop, I put some "Frenchs" fried onions. From a can. The type we, who were children in the 1960s are used to seeing on on top of thanksgiving campbells green beans in mushroom soup. Not gourmet fried onions, but who cares. Pretty good is good enough for me, amidst 18 inches of snow.

The serving plate here shows just the main entree and the baked potato, before I placed the broccoli onto the plate. I served this with homemade bread and red wine.