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tejon

eG Foodblog: tejon - Pepper Steak and Power Tools

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Good morning! My name is Kathy, and I live with my husband and two small boys in Diamond Bar, California. I usually just tell people I live at the very edge of Los Angeles, which is completely correct, if only by a whopping three miles. Or I mention that I'm close to Disneyland, which is also true. I did a food blog last summer and enjoyed myself so much I had to do it again. This time around I'm older, wiser, and only slighty more insane.

This week will be all about (hopefully) controlled chaos in my kitchen and house. After years of planning, we have finally decided to move to Oregon. There are many reasons for the move, but the main thing is that we both feel more home there than here. It's an exciting time and a slightly crazy one as well. In an effort to get the house ready to sell, we're painting and installing new flooring and generally fixing and fluffing everything to hopefully get the most money possible in this already insanely high market. Hey, every last bit helps :wink:.

Getting everything done hasn't been easy, but I love a good challenge. I'll be finishing up the kitchen and putting in some last bits of tile. Since we're moving soon, I'm trying to use what's left in my pantry and freezer, so suggestions are more than welcome (ideas on what to do with three cups of cracklins, anyone?). I'll be making Pepper Steak and falafel and whatever else sounds appealing. Also grabbing something at In-N-Out before they become just another burger chain.

Pictures hopefully soon to follow. My Canon S400 is having issues, so today's first order of business after dropping the boys at school will be a trip to the camera store. Back again in a few hours!

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screeches into empty room, waves

Hi Kathy!

Waiting for this to start will be tough, but I'll console myself with your earlier blog. Whereabouts in Oregon are you headed? (I'm just across the river in Wa.)

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...ah, but not *quite* empty!

We're probably going to end up around the Portland area, though Dan might have a good job nibble just across in Washington, so things could change. And housing is cheaper there, so we're considering Vancouver as well.

Right-before-bed snack of cinnamon toast and milk:

gallery_28661_3_120547.jpg


Edited by tejon (log)

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Hi, Kathy, I'm looking forward to spending the week with you. Cinnamon toast is one of my favorite wintertime just-before-bed snacks.

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In-N-Out Burger!!!!! Woo-hoo!!!! :wink:

So glad to see you blogging, Kathy...I can't wait to see how you miraculously balance planning for the move and doing the blog. I think you're amazing. :biggrin:

Are you originally from the West Coast? Just wondering how you decided on Oregon, and how you ended up in Southern California...

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Hooray, It's YOU!!! What fun---all these great bloggers all-in-a-row!!

Just don't say the "M" word too often---we've "M"-ed eleven times in the twenty years we've been married, always UP, I comfort myself, and we're now firmly settled for the past eight years. But it brings back all those newspapers and boxes and wrapping tape nightmares.

And you could take the cracklin's as part of your dowry to Oregon---kind of like carrying kitchen-seed for the new place. They seem to keep forever frozen, so just throw them in the truck last thing and bon voyage. (Munch a few on the trek and say they're pork jerky).

Good to hear from you again...looking forward to a great week.

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Are you originally from the West Coast?  Just wondering how you decided on Oregon, and how you ended up in Southern California...

Actually, I was born in San Francisco and grew up in Los Angeles and Orange County. California native all the way back to my great Great Great Grandparents. Dan's a native as well, so our planned move has a lot of people shaking their heads in confusion. One of the main reasons is cost of living, especially housing. At the moment we're essentially trapped in a two bedroom townhouse with no way to move out at all unless we went deep into the desert - and away from jobs for Dan. A long time ago we made the decision for one of us to stay home while the children were small, and while financially that has made life a bit more challenging it's been a really good choice. Oregon is one of the areas that has many potential jobs for Dan, but more importantly it just feels right to both of us. We both love trees and green and even rain, and felt like we had come home when we visited. I have some family there and we have friends in Portland as well. Though mostly it just feels like where we should be.

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Just don't say the "M" word too often---we've "M"-ed eleven times in the twenty years we've been married, always UP, I comfort myself, and we're now firmly settled for the past eight years.  But it brings back all those newspapers and boxes and wrapping tape nightmares.

And you could take the cracklin's as part of your dowry to Oregon---kind of like carrying kitchen-seed for the new place.  They seem to keep forever frozen, so just throw them in the truck last thing and bon voyage.  (Munch a few on the trek and say they're pork jerky).

This will be my twenty-fourth move :wacko:. Hoping this will be the LAST one - I'm really tired of boxes and labeling everything.

I love the idea of taking the cracklin's along. Much better than the "honorary can of Spam" we got as a wedding present and were told must stay in the pantry at all times. And they are pork jerky - the best kind imaginable! Mmmm...pork...

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Just packed up lunch for my oldest, Ryan:

gallery_28661_3_155565.jpg

He takes pretty much the same lunch each day: pizza that I make ahead of time and reheat in the toaster oven, water, fruit leather from Trader Joe's, fruit or a vegetable, and a snack of some kind. Today it's goldfish, the wholesome snack that smiles back until you bite their heads off :wink:.

I'm off to school, then back momentarily so I can make up my youngest's lunch and eat something myself.

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Sprucing and packing and blogging, oh my!

Kathy, I look forward to your adventures this week. If you're driving up to Oregon, them craklins will make a nice snack. :biggrin:

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...

I love the idea of taking the cracklin's along. Much better than the "honorary can of Spam" we got as a wedding present and were told must stay in the pantry at all times. And they are pork jerky - the best kind imaginable! Mmmm...pork...

If you decide to eat some before you leave, two favorite dishes of mine are scrambled eggs with cracklings (for any meal) or cracklin cornbread. These are both classic uses and oh so good.

Good luck with preparations for the move. I'm looking forward to your blog, including finding out more about the mystery teaser photos that Soba posted in Megan Blocker's foodblog...

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Quick shower for me (did I mention that I'm not in any way a morning person?), then it's time to make up my five year old's lunch. Arden asked for peanut butter sandwiches, chocolate milk, and Havarti cheese - comes out more like "Havadi" when he tries to say it :smile: - and I added in some more goldfish and a Fuji apple:

gallery_28661_3_171553.jpg

I grabbed some of the Havarti for myself, along with a swig of Orangina. Not bad together, actually.

gallery_28661_3_158760.jpg

Now I'm off to drop Arden at his preschool, then volunteer at Ryan's school for a while. I'll probably grab lunch on the way at some point, then I have to go over what we need to tile the bathroom this weekend.

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Good luck with preparations for the move.  I'm looking forward to your blog, including finding out more about the mystery teaser photos that Soba posted in Megan Blocker's foodblog...

I'll explain those once I'm back this afternoon, I promise!

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good luck packing and moving

take the cracklin's with you

double double in- n- out , please????????

enjoy the blogging ... and the sprucing up.... and .... everything.

any chance of an egullet work party? :wink:

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I am very much looking forward to this blog, Kathy. I thoroughly enjoyed your last one. Good luck with the sprucing etc.

Will there be updated shots of the boys (or must I refer to them as pets, in order to get them included in the blog?)?

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Ryan's teacher had a lot of extra work for me to do today and I have to pick Arden up at 12:30, so lunch today had to be quick. Luckily for me, en route to preschool is a quite decent Vietnamese restaurant:

gallery_28661_3_98015.jpg

I usually go for this:

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Sigh. Soup would take too long. So I opted for a bahn mi sandwich to go. I chose a "marinated, roasted pork", which was surprisingly heavy on meat and light on vegetables. The meat was tender with crisp edges, the bread was crisp on the outside and light and airy inside, and the cucumber and carrot added a nice crunch. There was enough nuoc cham and mayonnaise that I had to eat it like a Philly cheese steak - leaning forward so the savory drips didn't end up all over my clothes. The sandwich was HUGE, and at $3.19 it was a pretty sweet deal. I'll admit to licking my fingers when the last bite was done.

gallery_28661_3_11568.jpg

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double double in- n- out , please????????

any chance of an egullet work party? :wink:

Dan has nobly volunteered to get a double double tomorrow. Talk about self sacrifice! And anyone who would like to help paint or tile is more than welcome at any time - I promise both food and drink and even free entertainment in the form of small children. :wink:

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Arden asked for peanut butter sandwiches, chocolate milk, and Havarti cheese - comes out more like "Havadi" when he tries to say it  :smile:

I don't get it. Ahden pronounces it right. It's not so hahd. Yeesh.

Blog on!

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Your Canadian cousins are delighted that you're moving closer, to the land of moody rainforests and egalitarian thoughts, even if it's to the other Vancouver. Blog ever onward . . .

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I'm looking forward to your blog, including finding out more about the mystery teaser photos that Soba posted in Megan Blocker's foodblog...

I'm back from picking up the boys and lunch, so as you wish, ludja!

First, I'd like to introduce my spice and seasonings shelf. Don't try to find any kind of rhyme or reason there, as none exists. I bustle through the bottles and jars as I cook, seeking out this or that flavor as needed. Completely defies explanation of any kind, but it does seem to work. The cabinet goes much further back that it looks in the picture - the contents fill a banker box (as I've found in past moves).

gallery_28661_3_151533.jpg

This cabinet doesn't offer nearly enough space for everything I use regularly, so I have an overflow spice drawer where most of the spices I buy in bulk tend to live. I also keep chopsticks and metal skewers to one side. Anyone care to try their hand at guessing which spices are pictured? I used to label everything, but soon found I recognized all of these easily enough by sight, so didn't bother when I put all of these in new bottles.

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On to the windmill.

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This makes me laugh a little every time I see it. It rests at the corner of the strip mall where I go grocery shopping each week. Something about a windmill smack dab in the middle of California suburbia, next to a Ralph's and a bank, strikes me as endlessly funny. It's evidently a historical piece and it quite lovely as it spins whenever the wind blows. Here's the not as quaint Ralph's location directly across the parking lot:

gallery_28661_3_72252.jpg

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I love the windmill! We must share a similar sense of humor, Kathy.

Hazarding a guess at the spices...

Top row, cloves, cayenne, black cardamom, ?

2nd row, sumac maybe, peppercorns, fennel seed, fennel ground

3rd, turmeric, black mustard, cumin ground, cumin whole

It is admirable, the care with which you prepare, (including packaging), the food for your lucky children.

What have we got in store, dinner-wise, between construction?

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Hazarding a guess at the spices...

Top row, cloves, cayenne, black cardamom, ?

Cloves are correct. The last one is difficult to see - whole nutmeg.

2nd row, sumac maybe, peppercorns, fennel seed, fennel ground

Sumac it is! Good eye. Peppercorns and fennel seed are also correct, but that's not ground fennel.

3rd, turmeric, black mustard, cumin ground, cumin whole

All exactly right :smile:

It is admirable, the care with which you prepare, (including packaging), the food for your lucky children.

What have we got in store, dinner-wise, between construction?

Aw, thanks. It's really important to me to make sure they have good tasting, healthy food every day. Lets me nurture them a little when they're at school, which is nice for everyone.

Dinner tonight will be pepper steak, potatoes of some sort, and broccoli. Clearing out some really nice looking rib eye from the freezer.

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Spices. I'd guess that the first one in the top row is star anise and the last one is saffron. ANd, yes that red one that's first on the third row certainly looks like sumac!

I love the title of your blog, Kathy. I'm a power tool fanatic. I cherish the power tools that my family gives me for gifts.

And, good luck on selling the house. I'm sure it will sell, but when we sold our house (lived there for 18 years) almost 2 years ago, I noticed that most calls for a showing happen as the kids get home, are having a snack and spill something on the floor. It was the packing up the crap, the getting all of those DIY projects that we'd done to 95% done that were hard. THe killer was keeping the damned kitchen floor clean.

Edited to add: I missed the sumac by one row.

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After I picked Arden up from school, we went searching for good pita bread and vegetables. Ended up at a Halal store where I buy many of my spices and dried grains and dal.

gallery_9138_3_29282.jpg

My favorite part of the store - spices! Down below the mix boxes are bags of just about everything my little heart desires, all lined up in fragrant row after row. I love the heady smell of cloves and fennel and cumin that rises up as I sort through to find what I need.

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Here's the ever friendly butcher who made sure I got a good picture as he waved:

gallery_28661_3_171969.jpg

Arden decided he needed to help me pick out the perfect lemon:

gallery_28661_3_79319.jpg

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Spices.  I'd guess that the first one in the top row is star anise and the last one is saffron.  ANd, yes that red one that's first on the third row certainly looks like sumac!

The first one isn't star anise, though I wish I had that much on hand! The picture quality makes it hard to tell exactly what's inside. The last one can't really be seen at all, but it's whole nutmeg down in the bottom.

I love the title of your blog, Kathy.  I'm a power tool fanatic.  I cherish the power tools that my family gives me for gifts.

I love power tools, too. Actually, I love building and fixing things far more than is in any way typical for us female types. Sit me down with a saw and a hammer and something to work on and I'm happy as a clam. Thankfully, I married a Mechanical Engineer, so we just build things together :smile:. We also fight a bit over the Mikita :wink:.

And, good luck on selling the house.  I'm sure it will sell, but when we sold our house (lived there for 18 years) almost 2 years ago, I noticed that most calls for a showing happen as the kids get home, are having a snack and spill something on the floor.  It was the packing up the crap, the getting all of those DIY projects that we'd done to 95% done that were hard.  THe killer was keeping the damned kitchen floor clean.

I figure people will most likely want to see the house at the least opportune times. That's why we're putting so much effort into getting everything as clean and move in ready as possible - so a bit of mess won't make as much of a difference. The kitchen floor just got replaced exactly because what we had NEVER looked clean, no matter how much I scrubbed. The new tiles look great even when there are random crumbs here and there....not that that is ever the case here :rolleyes:


Edited by tejon (log)

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