Bacon Pancakes

We have been singing this song for weeks.

You can ask mom.  We sang it at the Mall of America on the escalators.

Anyway, I have been planning on making Bacon Pancakes for a while now.  We were going to have them for breakfast yesterday, but O didn’t get home from her sleepover until lunchtime.  So we had breakfast for dinner tonight.  Would that be Brinner?  Dinfast?  Anyway here they are:

I just cooked the bacon and then put it in the pancakes right before I flipped them.  Voila:


They were alright.  Princess O was disappointed.  She said you couldn’t really taste the bacon.  C said it probably tasted more like pancake (with bacon) instead of BACON!(with pancake).  But he doesn’t like bacon so he was just guessing.  And honestly, he was pretty accurate.



Some of the tomatoes are missing.

I know I really shouldn’t complain since they weren’t actually mine in the first place.

We were sitting at the dining room table eating breakfast this morning when a squirrel hopped up on the flower pot and helped himself.

Then he took a seat in one of my patio chairs and sat there eating his unripe baby sized tomato, while he was looking right at us.

The nerve.


The Accidental Garden

There is a tomato plant growing next to my patio.  I had nothing to do with it.  I suspect some bird or squirrel or chipmunk must have dropped a tomato seed there earlier this summer.

I discovered this rogue plant a week or so ago and told the kids about it.  They said “cool”.  I told them I was pretty sure we wouldn’t get any tomatoes, but that it was kind of cool anyway.

Well, guess what?

Yep, tomatoes.  I propped the plant up on an empty flowerpot once I noticed these little guys.  The kids want to know when we can eat them.  Frankly I’m pretty sure we won’t get the chance.  I suspect the woodland creatures that delivered the tomato plant in the first place will be claiming their prizes.

And even if they don’t, I am not sure I can eat these tomatoes.  It doesn’t feel like they belong to me.  Does that sound weird?


Nom Nom Nom


I made poutine.  That’s right, I.  Made.  It.  And it was goooood.

Regular subscribers will remember my deep and abiding love for poutine, a Canadian delicacy I discovered at the Grand Prix of Canada in Montreal.  It is so delicious.  For you poor souls who do not know what it is, it is the sweet nectar of the gods, it is a carbohydrate junkie’s fondest wish, it is french fries with gravy and cheese curds.

While dining out on poutine in Canada last month, Rick and I were contemplating the possibility of making poutine at home.  I had always assumed it was impossible, because as regular subscribers might also remember, I am terrified of deep frying anything.  That much hot oil scares the bejeezus out of me.  So I had pretty much written off poutine as something that could only be ordered, not made.

Ah, but our waitress, upon hearing about my dilemma said I should just make it with oven fries.  That they would be just as good and a lot less complicated (and frightening) than frying my own.

So I tried it.

Now, in Canada you can actually purchase poutine gravy in the grocery stores.  It is in the same aisle with the canned turkey gravy that one should always have on hand for Thanksgiving to make sure the homemade gravy turns out.  I do not have poutine gravy in my grocery store, but the turkey gravy was a fine substitute.  I also used Kraft cheese crumbles instead of cheese curds because they were smaller and I suspected they would get melty faster.  I was right.

It needs a little refining.  It could have used more gravy for example.  And perhaps I should have left the fries in the oven just another minute or two. But for a first attempt I give it two thumbs up.  And the best news is, I still have more than half a jar of gravy left, so I can make it again tomorrow.


So I bought a little Webber grill a while ago.  And then I got crazy busy and went on vacation so it sat there cute and lonely waiting for me to break it in.

Well, tonight was the night.  I got the grill ready, I opened the vents, I poured in the charcoal, then I ran inside and got a bucket of water, just in case, then I lit the charcoal.  Flames!  But not too high.  I sat and stared at them for a while, quietly hoping they would not set anything on fire that was not supposed to be on fire.  Then when the flames died down I put the grill on and started cooking some sausages

Don’t they look cute?  I did everything the book said to do, I let them sear, then I turned them every five minutes, with the top on the grill.  At the last minute I threw on a couple of hot dogs for The Boy and voila!  Dinner:

They were delicious. A little charred but I like that.  And I don’t think I poisoned anybody either.

The Perfect food day

Regular subscribers know that I have a not-so-secret love of junk food.  It’s true.  I would eat it all the time if I didn’t think it would kill me.  In fact, I plan to eat at McDonalds every day once I reach my 80th birthday.  I realize this may cut down on the number of years available to me, but my quality of life will be amazing.

Anyway, today was just about the perfect food day.  I was at my sister’s house in the Chicagoland Metropolitan Area this morning, so we went out for lunch.  And where did we go?  Portillos.  Home of the most delicious Italian Beef.  I hear they make a killer Chicago dog too, but I wouldn’t know because I only ever have the Italian Beef.  A 6-inch with sweet peppers, dipped.  It is so delicious.  I love it.  I have one every time I go home to Chicago.  Sometimes I have two or three.  But, this trip I only had time for one.  Tell me this doesn’t look amazing:

I didn’t think to take a picture of my lunch, which looked exactly like this.  But I found this photo here.

After lunch I went to O’Hare to pick up the Princess.  She had been on a Royal visit to see my brother in San Francisco.  We drove to Michigan straight from the airport.  And of course if you are driving to Michigan you have to stop at Redamak’s for dinner.  Did I mention it was in the Midwest Living Magazine list of top 25 burger joints?  And this is only correct.  I did take a picture of my dinner.  Here it is in all it’s glory

Yum.  And the Princess taught me something new.  Dipping your french fries in your chocolate shake.  It is delicious.  It has a kind of hot/cold, sweet/salty thing going on.  I love it.

Now if only I had thought to have Dunkin Donuts for breakfast I would have had the trifecta.  Oh well.  Another time.


Behold, my newest toy:

My new baby

Pretty cool don’t you think?  Yes it is a charcoal grill.  But because I was still wracked with indecision, I decided not to decide.  I opted for a small (teeny actually) Webber grill.  This way I can see how much I use a charcoal grill this summer and then if I use it alot I can get a big one.

If I don’t use it alot I will have to get over my great fear of propane tanks and go in that direction.

But this grill says it only needs 15 charcoal briquettes.  Fifteen!  I don’t think even I can set the neighborhood on fire with that.  I even bought charcoal.  And barbeque tools.

I am excited.  I want to cook something!  Something meaty.  Maybe some yummy burgers, or sausages, or steak.  Probably burgers or sausages.  And I saw a recipe for grilled artichokes that looked pretty tasty.  This is going to be so awesome.

Oh, and one other thing.  If anybody knows what the heck this giant plant is, let me know.  Thanks

Propane or Charcoal?

So here we are on Memorial Day weekend.  Time to think about summer and going to the pool and grilling up some hamburgers.  Except, I don’t have a grill.  This is a problem.  I want a grill.  I need a grill.  And I will have a grill.

The question is, what kind?  Do I go with propane, or charcoal?  Both have their pros and cons.

Propane grills, for example, are easy to light and they heat up quick.  Perfect for grilling up a few burgers or sausages after work.  And there are no open flames (usually) to worry about, or charcoal to futz around with.  So those are the pros.  On the other hand a great big tank of propane is heavy, highly flammable, and it scares my pants off.  I am afraid I will turn my patio into a smoking crater.  Those would be the cons in case you are keeping track.

So, okay if the idea of messing around with propane gives me the heebie jeebies maybe a nice charcoal grill is the way to go.  The food tastes better, it smells great and there is no giant, possibly explodey tank of propane hanging around.

On the other hand (cons again) you have to light charcoal on fire, and sometimes the flames are quite spectacular.  I am not crazy about this idea either.  Plus there is the whole waiting for the coals to be ready thing, and the futzing around with the old coals when your done.  What if I set the dumpster on fire with my old coals?

As you can see, I am a great big scaredy-chicken and both options make me nervous.  So I just need to decide which option is less terrifying, hike up my skirts and get on with things.

Since I am paralyzed by indecision, I am taking a poll.  Which would you choose if you were a big scaredy-chicken who wants a grill?

Will wonders never cease?

I don’t usually blog much about food, but today I am making an exception.  And here is why:  Tonight a miracle occurred in our household.

I found a recipe on Pinterest for a one-dish meal with potatoes, and onion, and red pepper and Italian sausage that looked pretty good.  So I pinned it to my feed me board and figured I would make it sooner or later.

I made it tonight.  Which brings me to our miraculous event.  Everybody liked it.  I had a huge pan full of the stuff (which we have christened “the sausage potato thing” – catchy isn’t it?) and I was planning on getting a couple of lunches out of it.  Nope.  We ate the entire pan.  A whole pound of sausage, two giant baking potatoes, half an onion and an entire red bell pepper.  Gone.

You have no idea, this never happens.  So, since this is clearly a miracle food.  I will share it with you, along with a link to the official version.

Sausage Potato thing

2 big baking potatoes peeled and cut into approximately 1 inch chunks

1/2 a large yellow onion peeled and cut into chunks

1 red pepper seeded and cut into chunks (do you see a theme here).

Toss all those with about 2 teaspoons of olive oil and some salt and pepper.  Put them in a 13×9 baking dish and chuck that in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  Then slice up some Italian Sausage (I used the turkey kind – less greasy)  toss that in the pan with the spuds and onions and peppers after their 15 minute head start.  Stir it up if you want.  Set the timer for another 30ish minutes and Bob’s your uncle.  Delicious.  And miraculous.

The official version is here: