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January 2012

January was a good month for me.  Generally, this is the time of year I begin to get my house in order after coming back from my Christmas trip; not that it's ever in complete chaos, but there are things which need to get reorganized.  The meals that are cooked tend to be lighter because we all feel the need to rejuvenate & detox from the holiday richness.  Although I try to keep my general diet on par the entire year, I do indulge just like everybody else.  One of my favorite sandwiches that gets made a few times a month is just what I need when I want something light & filling, while creating a minimum of fuss in the kitchen (keep reading).  Eating chicken is a healthy choice for anybody, especially if you use lean cuts and your recipes are light.  Knowing the basics for cutting up a whole chicken is something that every cook should master.  I show you in my post how easy it really is; reread the post and have a go at it if you haven't done so already.  If you cut up your chicken on a cutting board, make sure you devote one just for this purpose.  Keeping and maintaining a wooden cutting board is demystified for you in my post; follow the simple steps I employ in my kitchen.  So easy.  So simple. 

I have to have a cookie in the house at all times, however, for emergencies (I'm sure you can understand how dire the situation can get if there isn't one in my kitchen), so my Monthly Cookie for January introduced you to a new one that has quickly become a favorite with a few of you readers.  I also showed you some wonderful Martha by Mail items that are not only some of my most cherished collectibles, but ones that get used a lot in my kitchen throughout the year.  I invite you to revisit them now.

These cookie cutters are perhaps the ones I use the most during the year.  I make cookies for loved ones by either spelling out a special message, greeting or by detailing a monogram for that special someone.  These are a definite Good Thing. 

How sweet are these?

I love blueberries and I love lemons.  I've had these ingredients together in cakes, breads & muffins, but never in cookies.  For my Monthly Cookie, I set out to make a refrigerator, slice & bake cookie easy enough for anyone to make.  I got a few notes & emails from some of you who enjoyed making them, so I thank you.  If you haven't tried these delicious treats, I suggest you run out & buy a package of plump dried blueberries and a lemon or two.  Make the cookie dough and freeze it until you're ready to bake.  What could be easier? 

Don't forget that lemony icing that gets drizzled all over the cookies.  Delicious!

How could I not introduce you to some of the members of my family?  This is Lion.  He is such a cute little guy who loves to keep us company at all times.  If someone happens to be sitting down to a good book, Lion is there reading along (we suspect it's just to get a warm lap and not so much for the Shakespeare literature).  Do you know that he begs for sauteed mushrooms?  If he smells creminis or button mushrooms sauteing in a pan with a bit of olive oil, he goes crazy!  We do provide a little nibble just to whet his appetite.

This is the inimitable Mistress.  She's my other baby.  For the longest time she really didn't care for our laps, but the older she gets, the more mellow she becomes.  Now every lap is fair game for her; we get tired of her sitting on us way before she does. 

If you stare at her, she cries out.  If you talk to her in a baby voice (we spoil her that way), she responds with cries of joy.  I can be downstairs and Mistress can be upstairs walking around, but as soon as she hears me talking on the phone (usually to my niece or mother), she has to run down to get my attention.  She loves to be the center of our affections. 

Lately, we've discovered that she likes my Ratatouille.  No joke! 

For the recipe click here and see why she loves it.  It's delicious.

Yum Yum Yum is how I would best describe this drink.  It's something I make throughout the year to energize me whenever I need it.  I can be outdoors shoveling my driveway of snow and come back in craving this hot drink.  It's not really a tea, but rather a warmed up lemonade of sorts.  I love it sour and I love it lemony.  Try one soon. 

Among my favorite bowls are these from Martha by Mail.  I regard them as some of the best made pieces of contemporary American pottery for the kitchen.  They are heavy, made to last generations and are highly collectible.  I use them constantly for preparing items both sweet & savory.  Although they are heavy to move around, I find it a good workout for me whenever I do. 

The basics for cutting up a chicken everyone ought to know can be found in this post.  I find myself doing this just about every week.  Try it!

This is my Sardine Sandwich served open faced.  It's a delicious way to eat a bit healthier and a bit lighter.  What's more, there's no cooking involved.  Making a sandwich like this is the easiest thing in the world.  Treat yourself to one if you haven't done so yet.

Embarrassing!  After assembling my sandwiches, Lion dove for the plate that had the sardines.  I did manage to sop up most of the olive oil, so he only had a few licks as a treat.  He's a gourmand!

Here I am cleaning my boards.  I love and cherish every single one of them.  The little paddle I'm cleaning here is used exclusively for cutting up citrus.  Everything from navel oranges, Valencia oranges, blood oranges, minneolas, lemons, limes and grapefruit are cut on this tiny board.

A bowl holding some seasonal fruit from the farmer's market.  These mixing bowls, again, get used a lot in my kitchen.  I love their simple shape and their hefty weight.  These were commissioned by the Martha by Mail catalog from a Portuguese pottery company.  I love these bowls.  I do so cherish them. 


  1. Hi David,
    I was searching around looking for other Blogs and found your blog because I had searched on cutting boards. Since you had the post about cleaning your boards.

    I just started my blog and was looking to find others talking about the same stuff.

    Started my blog a few weeks ago. SInce I love watching bluebirds, woodwork, cooking, hiking, etc. that's what I plan to write about.

    Check out my blog if you get this comment.

    It's Bluebird Nesting Time Again!

    thank you,

  2. Michael,

    I'm so glad you stumbled upon my blog! How wonderful that you've started your own blog covering the subjects you love. For me, it's all about writing and devoting time to what matters most to us.

    I am definitely going over to check your blog and see what goodies you have in store.

    Feel free to email me anytime, Michael!


  3. thanks David,
    I might have some questions for you about blogging but for now I am trying to figure all this out.

    Hope you checked out my blog, posted a short blog on a hug copperhead snake I saw today.


  4. Wonderful Michael!!

    I'll make sure to check up on your blog periodically. Actuallly, there are some things I'd like to discuss with you, now that I know you do woodwork.

    Have a great weekend!!


  5. Hey David,
    do you aslo do woodworking? I have been doing woodworking for a long time.

    I am having trouble getting my gravatar to display. I added an image, followed all the instructions, etc. but it will not display after I make comments on sites. any ideas?

    My Japanese Iris Pictures


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