Thursday, October 30, 2008

'Tis the season

As the cooler weather sets in (although we have some nice days coming up), I tend to start thinking about things to cook. Part of it is wanting comfort food, and part of it is because it feels good to be in a warm kitchen! (It doesn't feel so great in August, when it's 85° and above! We don't have central air conditioning, so I don't like heating up the kitchen.) I rarely make desserts, because it's just too much for us after we have dinner, and neither of us needs the extra calories! So I focus on dinners.

I'm also in the mode of wanting to use up things that are residing in the freezer. I still buy things on sale, but I need to start using other things up. So last night I used a bag of ravioli I'd had in the freezer for a while and made a casserole. I cooked the ravioli, then layered it with spaghetti sauce, some fresh mozzarella, cottage cheese, and some shredded mozzarella, and baked it. It was pretty tasty, and some garlic bread with roasted garlic went well with it. We'll have leftovers tomorrow night.

Tonight, I thought I'd do some stuffed chicken breasts. Pound them thin, then roll them up with...I'm thinking spinach, mozzarella, and sun-dried tomatoes. A little bit of sour cream to hold it all together. Then some bacon strips laid on top, and the whole thing baked. I like finding recipes that I can tweak a little and use stuff I have in the fridge, and those of you who have been reading for a while know how much I love a chance to use my meat mallet!

For the weekend, I want to try some black bean soup. I found what sounds like a good crockpot recipe. I saw lots of recipes that use canned black beans, and that would be easy to whip up, but I have a bag of dried black beans downstairs, so I might as well use those. I love having black bean soup in restaurants, so it will be fun to try it at home. Some ham, onions, a little bit of tomatoes, spices...I've never tried it before, so I hope it turns out okay!

It's not just the cooking's also rutting season, and the deer have been hanging out in the back yard all day! A little bit ago, I looked out and saw 5 does. Suddenly, a young buck came charging up and started running after all the does! Everyone settled down, and the does were hanging out by the small pond in the middle of the yard, while the buck was at the far pond. He finally came strolling up to all the does, real casual-like. "Hi Ladies, lookin' good, don't worry 'bout me, I'm cool." Then BAM! he started chasing them again! It cracked me up!

Of course, for any of us that are fortunate enough to live in rural areas, rutting season also means an increased chance of hitting a deer on the roads. They're on the move, looking for a mate, and auto-deer collisions cost millions in insurance claims every year (and some people get killed in the crash). Not to mention the poor deer who don't exactly enjoy the encounter. I've been fortunate to have stayed safe so far (knock on wood!), but Ken hit one a few years ago. So everyone be careful out there, use your high beams when you can, and keep your eyes peeled for glowing eyes in the roadway ahead.

Oh, and for all you bird watchers out there, I saw a Dark-Eyed Junco today. It's official...winter is on its way.


  1. What did you say your address was............?
    Sounds yummie!


  2. I'm beginning to want to cook more too. I think it's the cooler weather.... Mmmm your casserole sounds good....also the chicken rolls. I sure wished you lived closer...I'd be pounding on your door. I love the photos of the deer. Talking about car accidents because of deer....a friend of mine sent me a video of a police in pursuit & here comes a poor deer out onto the was horrible. The clip is called explodey the doe

  3. mmm all sounds delicious my plane will be landing at...... I too have got the cooking bug, I made meatballs tonight which I had with rosemary potatoes cutinto cubes with a rich tomato sauce and tommorrow it's beef casserole, which I will do in the slow cooker so thats Friday and Saturday's dinner done.

    Take care


  4. You are very creative in the kitchen! Is there a reason you used cottage cheese instead of ricotta? I know they are similar... just wondering...

    be well...

  5. best thing in the whole world is a chicken breast stuffed with haggis

  6. Is that someone at the door?

    Oh, just the meat mallet :o)

  7. Sounds good.. I think when Paul gets back home it's going to be time for some Spinach Tortellini

  8. I love the picture of the deer. You sound like my kind of cook. I love both of those dishes..

  9. Hi Beth,
    What a great photo ... looks like a scene out of Bambi. As for your dinner, sounds yummy. Once I was at an obscure chinese restaurant in the Netherlands that specialized in Black Bean Soup. The only thing is, there were so many typos on the menu that they were promoting it as "Black Bone Soup!" I took a pass ...

  10. We had 15 deer in the field tonite. I went out with my camera but it was too dark and I didn't get any shots.

    I hate to see them hit, it upsets me so much and I have been driving slower and will continue to do so for a while. A few years ago one ran through our field and hit Doug's truck. The damage was in the thousands and sadly the deer died. Needless to say I was hysterical and never want to see that happen again.

    I think everyone enjoys the coziness of cooler weather and starts to think about good meals and nesting. Your chicken breasts sound awesome! Enjoy.

  11. Did you take the picture of that precious little fawn in your backyard? Adorable! You have way better wildlife than my stupid possum!

  12. I am thinking I might even be persuaded to turn my oven on this weekend. That is funny because I never cook. The microwave is my best friend.
    'On Ya' - ma

  13. I used to have to drive down the back roads on my way to work and I was always terrified of hitting a deer. Since I am at the new hospital I take all freeways and I am not as nervous about it but I still see them all over the side of the freeways also! Linda

  14. Yep. I've been doing lots of deer vs. car claims since I moved up here... goes with the territory!

    I am all about the cooking lately... we had chicken in the crockpot today...

    stay warm!

  15. I'll stop giggling insanely...we waited for the dark eyed Junco? The falling snow wasn't any indication winter was on it's way? Yeah, I'm goofy...Skye is here overnight and plans on spending tomorrow and the night watching horror movies with me to bring in the festivities. We don't get trick or treaters so it will probably be just us eating the bowl of candy.

    I have 3 deer that have literally spent the summer, fall and it looks like winter...scrounging around my yard eating the crab apples and sleeping in the nearby wooded lots. I love seeing them outside it's so serene and close to my heart to see them (how could it not be they're on my totem). I think it was yesterday morning I spent the morning just watching them with the gently falling snow. It's priceless living in a rural area isn't it! (Hugs)Indigo

  16. Beware, the male deer are more likely to chase YOU as well this time of year. Doesn't happen often but it's more likely now than any other time. I know what you mean about food but I'm sure you've gathered that by now as to where my posts have been. Once it gets really chilly, I plan on trying out a few soups that I found, ham and cheddar as well as a ham and potato, both poured into a bread bowl. And a side of hot chocolate. ;) Although, for me, I always like to have something sweet after dinner, even if it's just a small bite of chocolate. It literally, is a family thing.

  17. I too have been in the kitchen making dishes! This week I will have to make a big pot of Chille, and I likes it spicy! The deer are all over, and I have been driving extra slow. I hope you have a great day, and enjoy your evening!

    Happy Halloween!

  18. Sounds like a nice day ... I am going to try Myra's stuffed rolls this month and I have someone (is it yours?) meatball recipe printed out to try. Can't wait to find a class, but right now, that is still a future thingy.

  19. I was in a SUV in 1986 and we hit a deer. Deer died...and man, did i get a headache! We ended up in the middle of a cornfield. I love to not do it sure sound like a hell of a cook and i love when you talk about cooking. XO


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?