My photo
, Wyoming
Thanks for visiting Sauce du Jour. Feel free to share a great recipe, leave a comment, or make me dinner. I'll bring hors d' oeuvres and the wine! To visit my website go to Thanks for visiting the Sauce ~Tammi

Jul 27, 2013

My Third Date With Bobby

I have to admit that I thought my boy Bobby was slacking when it came to the Green Onion Smashed Potatoes in his Mesa Grill Cookbook. Just green onion? C'mon Bobby you can do better than that.
     I like to think of myself as kind of a (S)mashed Potato Queen. I do a Bacon-Blue Cheese (S)mashed, Green Chile-White Cheddar (S)mashed, Chipotle-Monterey Jack (S)mashed, a decadent Truffled (S)mashed, Spinach-Gruyere (S)mashed, Caramlized Shallot-Smoked Gouda (S)mashed.....and on and on. Forget the Roasted-Garlic and the Wasabi (S)mashed, they are passe and so last year.

When I say (S)mashed, I'm talking about the spuds, not me ~ and the method....always (s)mash them by hand. Lumps are good. Rustic is good. An electric mixer can turn them into the consistency of wall paper paste and that's just wrong.  When you use small red skinned spuds just go ahead and leave those skins on if you want to because they will be tender and blend right in. For the creamiest (s)mashers use Yukon Golds, and don't forget; lots of butter and cream are an absolute necessity.

But back to Bobby's Green Onion Smashers.  I gotta admit I was thinking, booorrrriiiing. But what Bobby did was spunk 'em up with some sour cream instead of plain ole' heavy cream, and I gotta tell ya this (S)mashed Potato Queen was impressed.  It was simple: just new red skinned potatoes, a LOT of butter, even more sour cream, green onions and salt and pepper. I've made these three or four times now and for something so simple they do pack a lot of flavor. Whip some up!

A couple of nights later I made Bobby's Southwestern Potato Salad and this was potato salad funk at it's finest.
     The weird thing was that it had tomatoes in the recipe. I've eaten a fair number of potato salads but I don't think I have ever eaten one with tomatoes in it. Because it was Bobby and he's never let me down yet, I went with it. It was a (kind of) pretty color of pink because of the ancho chile and cayenne peppers.  When it all came together I was glad that the tomatoes had came to the party.

I had leftovers and I really wondered if those tomatoes would turn to mush because of the lime juice in the salad but I was pleasantly surprised the next day when the salad was even better than it had been the first time around. Yeah, the tomatoes did break down a bit, but the flavors of the sauce intensified.
     If you are a purest when it comes to potato salad, skip this one, but if you have already been to a dozen BBQ's this summer and are BORED with the old mayo-mustard-pickle-egg-onion variety, give this one a try.  Check it out under the "Soups-Salads-Sides" tab. Thanks Bobby, love ya, call me, mean it! ♥

Jul 18, 2013

Gone Today, Hair Tomorrow

 See kids ~ we really were young and super cool once! (1978)
The Big Guy and I have been together since 1978 and in those thirty-five years I have never seen him without a mustache or a headful of thick hair. Back when we met he had a lot of kinky-curly black Afro-type hair and I loved that mop, but honestly if I could remember back that far I'd have to say it was his sense of adventure, not his hair that really attracted me to him (no matter what he might think).

Ok, so this is NOT The Big Guy, but this was his hair in the '70's.
Plus he had chops and a mustache. He lost the chops sometime in the 90's, but in our thirty-five years together I had never seen him without a 'stache. Until today.
      In fact I'm convinced he was born with one.

Don't believe me...see his baby picture below. This was baby Larry Joe at six months.

Then a few years ago, when he started injecting himself with Neupegen I noticed it caused his hair to go straight and to thin out a bit. When it came time to prepare for the transplant we knew the high dose stuff was coming next and and we knew what that meant: Chemo's a bitch and would manage to steal what time and age couldn't.
     So in anticipation of all that glorious hair going bye-bye, The Know-It-All gave her dad a military worthy buzz cut. I suggested that he shave the whiskers since they were going to come off anyway but he refused to give up those hairs. I wondered just what it was that he was hiding under there. Then he started chemo. Then we waited. It thinned a bit. His goatee took on the look of a yuppie who manscaped.

To be honest, as much as I loved the goatee and that head of hair, I was kind of  looking forward to seeing him with a chrome dome and a clean lip. Some of the best looking men I know are sportin' the Mr. Clean look; (and I'm not talking about Bruce Willis, Bob Duvall and the guy from Pawn Stars) I'm talking about John S., Lance R., Wade H., and Scott B., just to name a few....those guys are all looking good rockin' the cue ball so I was OK with Big becoming a brother in baldness.

Hates Everything and her Sugar Daddy. Circa 1999 +/-
For years The Big Guy has smacked at me and the girls like we were bees whenever we tried to run a handful of gel through his unruly hair. Well it turns out that Neupegen is candy compared to Busulfan because now that his hair is *ahem* thinning gone, we are all stand-off-ish with the hair products and the comments.
     Even though a few weeks ago the head went shiny, the eyebrows and a few mustache hairs clung to life, like a baby monkey to it's momma. Or maybe two chihuahuas to their daddy. Sometimes I forget about this new look and when I glance at him I feel like I'm living with a stranger.      

 About a week ago he shaved off the few hairs that remained in his goatee. I then realized that I had more hair on my upper lip than he did on his, so with my usual amount of tact I asked him why he didn't just shave that shit off.  He said if he did he felt like he would be giving up on the last of the hairs that were still refusing to give up on him. (Insert knife in my heart here.) I can be such a matter-of-fact-no-bullshit shithead that I have to be hit in the face with a chandelier before I see the light. Sometimes I forget that no matter that I'm here, he really is going through so much of this transplant business alone. And I'm sorry.

Then yesterday he pointed out that he had some new whiskers that were trying to sprout on his face. After further searching we detected two new mustache hairs growing. He was pretty excited about that, and hey, I have two new chin hairs too but I'm not doing the happy dance. It's the little things that can make a man so happy.

This morning he announced that he thought he needed to shave and I rubbed his cheeks to verify that there was indeed stubble. (Turns out there are little things that can make a woman happy too.) What I didn't expect was that he would finally shave off the stache' too. My subtle *coughbullshitcough* comment(s) about me having more lip hair than him must have finally got the best of him. I feel like such an ass.
     He said he shaved it off because he thought if he started over it would all grow in more even. Makes sense to me but I'll admit I'm not a whisker expert. I have my hands full keeping an eye on my own two chin hairs.

Two hours later we did another whisker check and yep, sure enough they are sprouting like new grass seed. Well it turns out those whiskerlings also brought something else out. Big is acting more like his old know, making passes at me and saying lewd comments to me. Basically being a pig; but that's The Big Guy I know and love.

Hahahaha Cancer! Take that! This big hunka-hunka man, whom I have always thought of as a bad-ass has showed cancer who's boss.  I see a full head of hair, a goatee, and a mustache in our future!

The Know-It-All and The Big Guy, on their way to the bank.


Jul 11, 2013

Going To The Deaf & Dumb Doctor

I'm one of those people who will laugh at you and with you.  If you slip on the ice and bust your ass, rip the crotch out of your pants when you bend over, or accidentally fart when you sneeze, I will be busting a gut. I'll help you up, loan you my jacket to tie around your waist, and probably pee my pants laughing, because I'm not above getting my jollies at your expense. 
     I also sometimes laugh at inappropriate times. Like at funerals or yoga. I remember once when two friends (who shall remain nameless to protect their classy reputations) and I tried NOT to lose it when the prim doctor next to us farted in yoga class while doing the child's pose. The fact that she was a pediatrician was not lost on me. It was all quiet and we were in our zone or our zen or whatever we were supposed to be in, and Dr. _______ rips one. My friends and I each opened one eye and looked at one another and then tried our best not to look like complete assholes as we were snorting and our bodies were shaking and tears were running from our pinched shut eyes. We didn't dare look at each again or we would have completely lost it and would probably spontaneously combusted. 
     This story is kind of like that in the sense that it's at someone else's expense...The Big Guy's, but it was funny and I was trying not to laugh as he struggled with the words. He's such a good sport! And I can be such an ass.
   I wrote the following on The Big Guy's Caring Bridge page, but since this is different audience, and since I'm still chuckling about it, I thought I'd share it here.


JULY 2, 2013      
The Big Guy’s hearing is pretty good, said no one ever. Honestly, forty plus years of playing trucks and working with heavy equipment has taken its toll on Larry’s ability to hear a bomb drop.
     Since his cardiac arrest and the twelve minutes of CPR that followed, I have noticed a significant decline in his hearing. When a couple of the nurses mentioned that they too had noticed it, we thought it was time to get it checked out.  

When I mentioned to Sierra that we were going to an audiologist, she hit the nail on the head when she said, “if Dad gets hearing aides then he’ll be able to hear us when we are making fun of him.”

     I’ll be the first to admit that the girls and I have had a few giggles at his expense. It’s true that we have all moved our lips with no sound coming out of our mouths just to make him think that he has gone totally deaf. He’s a quick learner with not much of a sense of humor, and after a few minutes we can hear him mumbling, assholes, under his breath, which always brings an outburst of laughter from us, followed by a Poor Dad, which is then followed by several minutes of silence. (Side note: assholery must run in the family.)
Yesterday was the appointment and following is the condensed version of how it pretty much went.

Me:  “Well, that was a great waste of time.” 
Larry:  “I think so, it’s just balsamic vinegar that I can’t.”
Me: Huh?"
Larry: “Did you just ask if I could tolerate the taste of lime?” 

Me:  “The prosecution rests its case.”
Although we were the only people in the waiting room, we were ignored while the three women working at the front desk tried to decide on wording for a banner that they were making. One People magazine later, we were finally taken into another room where we waited even longer until a really old guy in a white lab coat with longish white hair came into the room. He told us that Larry was the last patient of his life because he was retiring as soon as he was finished seeing him. First red flag…so much for follow-up, I was thinking.

Then one of the banner makers, aka “the audiologist” took us into another room where she stuffed Larry into this small cube, like she was Houdini putting her assistant into a box to make him disappear. She instructed him to put on some gigantic headphones and then she stared at him through a glass wall while speaking into an archaic looking microphone as she spun some big dials around. (Note to self:  Man is living in space, iPhones can start your car, dim your living room lights and monitor your heart rate, but audiology is still in the dark ages and Thomas Edison is alive and well and about to retire in Denver, CO)

She said:  “Say reason, say house, say date.”
He said:  “season? mouse? late?”
She said: “Say boy, say doubt, say berry.”
He said:  “toy? shout? fairy?
She said:  “Say bike, say chair, say duck.”
He said:  “Mike? stair?  ummmm, Huh?” 

Me? I was looking around the room for some scissors to run with.

     Houdini unfolded Larry out of the box and made him reappear, then handed us a piece of paper that she had hand drawn a graph on. She took my scissors away from me and then herded us into the third room where we waited for Dr. Edison. He informed us that yes indeed; Larry did have significant hearing loss (Thank you Captain Obvious!) and then he reminded us that he was retiring in about five minutes, as he escorted us back out to the waiting room. (Say hi to Orville and Wilbur, I’m thinking.) The banner makers bid us farewell without even looking up.

Me: “Wait a sec, what do we do now? Don’t you need to let him try on some hearing aids? Or fit him or give us some pricing?”
Houdini:  “Oh I don’t do that here, you’ll have to come to my office in Englewood for that. Here’s my card, you can call and make an appointment.”
Larry and I look at each other, like two deer caught in the headlights and try not to crack up.

Me: “Well, #&*@”
Larry: “What duck?”             

Later that afternoon we went in for labs. Hemoglobin is up, which means that he is making blood again!  His weight was down to 209, meaning that all women now hate him because he has lost ten pounds in a week by eating mostly ice cream. It also means that I will be adding some butter and cream to that IV bag if he doesn’t start eating.  
     The rash is getting better ~ in the sense that it is a lot less painful; however I have noticed that it has now moved to his lower back, his butt and the backs of his legs. I told him I thought he should start putting that cream on his legs. He said he’d rather have oatmeal than eggs.
     Well you know what they say…if it’s not thing, it’s your mother.

Jul 5, 2013

My Second Date With Bobby

One word:  Posole; it's just one more thing to LOVE about Bobby Flay. 
      When Bobby called me to taste test his recipe I decided to to try it out on The Big Guy because soup is one of the few things that taste good to him since he's been on this the post-chemo diet. Okay, so maybe I'm a little delusional and have a touch of sympathy-chemo brain myself. Shut up. He did too call me.

Anyhow, since I am cooking my way through his Mesa Grill cookbook, tonight I made the Chicken and Mushroom Posole Soup. It just double-stamps the reason that Bobby Flay is Bobby Flay! *sigh* 

I know that pork is usually the basis for Posole but this recipe calls for chicken. I like the idea of roasting the chicken breasts whole, rather than sauteing them in cut up pieces. At that high temp (425) it crisped up nicely and kept the juices in.

I only deviated from the recipe a bit:  I used fresh shiitake mushrooms instead of dried porcini because a) I'm not a fan of the dried variety, and b) I had fresh shiitakes on hand, so it just made sense. Also, the recipe calls for "1 cup of canned hominy" and that is just not anywhere near enough if you are going to call yourself "Posole". Shame on you Bobby, for scimping.  I used one of the big 29 oz. cans, which is about three cups, and no one was complaining.

These anchos are still soft...not like the dried out, crunchy things you sometimes find.
Ya all know that ancho chiles are just dried Poblano peppers right?  It's like calling here kitty, kitty to a mountain lion; it's same breed of cat but a completely different animal. The same can be said about this pepper. The poblano pepper is mild but once dried to the ancho chile is becomes slightly sweet, with a mild to medium bite, and a distinctive smoky flavor. 
  Now that I'm living in the Big City (and not Hickville) I'm able to find big, beautiful, still-soft, ancho chiles and they made all the difference in the world in this Posole. You can't even believe how wonderful these chiles smell! Lean in...a little more...closer...can you smell them? (Note to my Hickville friends...if you want me to bring you some fat ancho chiles leave me a message here and I'll do it.)

Speaking of the anchos, they added quite a nice bite to this Posole, and even though Bobby said to "garnish" with a lime, I took the liberty of squeezing some fresh lime juice into the pot. It cut the heat just enough for any sissies at the table. (Me.)

I finished it with a handful of white cheddar, some crushed tortilla chips, fresh cilantro and a lime wedge and this Posole was perfect! Thanks Bobby, love ya, call me, mean it! ♥

Click on the "Soups-Salads-Side" tab to see the recipe.