Saturday, February 12, 2011

Can't save them all.....

I was going to wait till tomorrow to write this, but I want it off my chest now; my heart is broken, and it hurts so much.

After writing my previous post, I went outside to see if I could find the missing kitten, Peanut, and I did. She was lying in the street, a vehicle must have hit her, and she was gone from our lives. Peanut was a spirited kitten, always into something, and so brave that she would walk into the house whenever you opened the door. She was not afraid of the dogs, and would swat at them as she walked her way to the kitchen. She had the sweetest little face, and the personality to match, and now she is gone.

Her bravery was her undoing. All the other cats and kittens that have taken up residence under our garden shed, for the most part, stay on our property, or on the empty lot next door to us. But she went into the street, and a big monster got her, one she just couldn't swat out of her way.

Not knowing what had happened to her bothered me, and even though I now know, it doesn't make the pain any less. Peanut will be dearly missed; bye, bye little one; we loved you very much. 

Treasures on my shelf and I didn't even know.

This morning the dogs decided that mommy needed to get up at 6AM; sure, why not? Once I'm up, that's it, I'm up; so got busy getting laundry into the washer, feeding the indoor and outdoor pets (however one of the kittens is missing, and I'm a bit upset over that, and then tackled the cooking. By 8am I had my 2-6 qt crock pots going, one containing Beef Stroganoff, the other Chicken Cacciatore. Yes, yes, I'll post the recipes, just hold your horses cause I'm not done telling you about my morning.

Anyway, I decide to take a break, so turn on the boob tube (that means television)to see if anything interesting was on. The movie, "Julie and Julia" which had inspired me to start this blog was on; really like the movie, so figured I'd watch it again. By now Roy was up, and decided to watch it with me. I wanted him to understand the book references, so went to my cookbook collection and pulled out my copies of "Joy of Cooking", and Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking", volumes 1 and 2.

How I purchased these books was by antiquing; every year, on Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving), my mom and I would go to Hershey, Pennsylvania and browse the various antique shops. A 1943 "Joy of Cooking" - $1.50; both volumes of Julia's books - $8 each; and then I checked the print date on them. Stunned silence, and that doesn't happen often to me; volume 1 was the 2nd reprint from November 1961; volume 2 is a first edition (says it right inside the book) from 1970. Gold, I had golden books in my collection, and didn't know until now.

That's my thrill for today, and don't believe anything will top that; well, except if the missing kitten(named Peanut)returns. So, here are the two recipes I promised to post; revamped for the crock pot.

Chicken Cacciatore


4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
½ cup white wine
2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes with Italian herbs
1 (12 oz) can tomato paste
3 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. hot pepper flakes
1 and ½ cups each of red bell and Italian frying peppers, cut into 1 inch strips
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 large onion, diced
Cooked rice or pasta


Set a 6-qt slow cooker on low, place chicken breasts on bottom. In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, except for the cooked rice or pasta; mix thoroughly. Spoon mixture over chicken, replace lid and let cook for 6-8 hours; chicken will be fork tender. Mix occasionally; making sure the chicken gets incorporated into the sauce-vegetable mixture.

Serve over the cooked rice or pasta.

Makes 8-10 servings.

~~~~ and ~~~~

Beef Stroganoff


3 ½ - 4 lbs. lean beef, cut into ½” cubes
½ cup flour
1-12 oz bag frozen, diced onions
1-8 oz can or jar of sliced mushrooms
2 Tbsp minced garlic
3 beef seasoning packets or bouillon cubes
2 cups water
1-10 ¾ oz can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
1 ½ lbs cooked, broad egg noodles


Set crock pot on low, and place in all ingredients except the soup, sour cream and egg noodles. Cover and cook for 3 hours; stirring occasionally. Add the soup and cook for 4-5 additional hours; until meat is very tender. Stir in sour cream; let cook for 10 minutes; serve over egg noodles.

Makes 8 servings.

Mary Cokenour