Trick or Drink?!?

Just in time for your trick or drinking tonite…

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Introducing Apothic Dark, limited edition! If you like Apothic ( the house wine at chez Miller)’ you’ll love this. Really jammy, bright, and totally yummy!
Come to the dark side…

Taffeta Darling!

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On one particularly memorable late afternoon, after a fast $.80 draft beer at the esteemed Red Hat on Beacon Hill, I sat with my peeps in the darkened auditorium at Suffolk University, and laughed till I cried. The movie that afternoon was “Young Frankenstein”.
Released just before Christmas in 1974, this rollicking brilliant satire of Mary Shelley’s novel of creation, was directed by the comic genius Mel Brooks and starred Gene Wilder, Teri Garr, and Cloris Leachman along with a pantheon of brilliant comic character actors (all now, tragically deceased) including Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, and Kenneth Mars.

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Here at Chez Miller, “Young Frankenstein” is mandatory viewing regardless of the day of the year it comes on television. After all, this is the movie that delivered such classic lines as :
Victor: “Igor, get the bags”
Igor: ” sointenly ( a la the 3 stooges) sir, you take the blonde and I’ll take the one in the turban….”

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Inga: ” you’ve hardly touched your food”
Victor: ( after rapidly patting all the food on his plate) “there, I touched it!”

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The hilarious exchange in the secret staircase where Victor implores the ditzy Inga to “put the candle back…”

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Igor’s optimistic caution to Victor : “it could be worse. It could be raining.” As they struggle to steal a body from the graveyard in the rain.

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Igor’s genius comic take on stealing the brain from the laboratory.
Cloris Leachman stars as the uptight, violin playing housekeeper, Frau Blucher (cue the horses) and Kenneth Mars is the local soldier who rallies the townspeople to storm the castle to destroy the Monster.

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But my absolute favorite character is Elizabeth Lavenza the uptight, turban clad fiancée of Victor, who arrives unexpectedly at the castle, and winds up letting her hair down with her new husband. Her arrival at the train station when she spurns Victor’s kisses and hugs with her lispy “taffeta, darling!” warning is timeless…

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Watch it for the brilliant cast, watch it for the vaudeville, including the big production number of “Putting on the Ritz”. Watch it for the exquisite timing, but celebrate Halloween by watching this classic comedy. And yes, it’s in black and white, there is nothing wrong with your screen!

Way back machine…October issue

Here’s what I was crafting/cooking or creating last year in October!

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Look at these cutie pies! I made a classic Margherita with baby buffalo mozzarella, basil and cherry tomatoes. Also an apple and Camembert !

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Next up I was a little late putting paper whites into jars last year. Also, if you cover with moss, they get moldy.

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Mid month I was working on these embossed pink cards and finally

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Mermaid bracelets with mermaid beads I found at my favorite retail in Maine,Snug Harbor Farm. I wear these, usually one at a time on different occasions.

Just another meatless Monday…

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I’ve had a Pillsbury pizza crust in a tube in my frig for an embarrassing bit of time and finally decided to give it the heave ho into the oven. As you can see I rounded up the usual suspects to go in there with it.

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You have to blind bake the crust in a 400 degree oven for about five minutes.
Then I topped it with sliced up cherry tomatoes, thin sliced yellow onion, paper thin slices of Meyer lemon (trust me on this…) and the ends of some goat cheese and feta cheese. I also pulled some little knobs of fresh mozzarella to be the meltee part.

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Pop back in the oven for 5 more minutes and then switch to the broiler for about 3 minutes, but don’t walk away. A heartbeat can separate you from a pizza tragedy.
While the second bake was taking place, I did a little vinaigrette with olive oil, Meyer lemon juice, anchovy paste, and parsley. Toss two good handfuls of arugula with the vinaigrette.

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Once you pull your bubbly masterpiece from the broiler, just top it with the arugula and enjoy!

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But wait! I suppose you want to know where are the olives that are featured in the first picture of this post? Turns out that something was in the frig longer than the pizza crust…

What to do with ….?

I had some of these….

veggies roasted

And thought…what can I make with them? Well, I’ll tell you. Roasted vegetable soup!

I threw some garlic in olive oil into my trusty enameled soup pot, and added the leftover veggies. I also put in a block of the chicken stock I had made a few weeks ago. Bring to a boil and simmer, so that the veggies lose any remaining firmness, probably about 10 minutes or so of simmering. Then I put it in SMALL batches in the blender and blended until smooth. Note: I capitalized SMALL for a reason, and that reason is that it can be all over your walls in a heartbeat if you overload the blender jar.

Back in the pan and add about 1/2 cup cream and whisked. Top with fresh herbs and a fresh piece of cheesy toast and it’s good to go!

cream of veggie

Last rose of summer….

Well before it got all blowy, rainy, windy, and wet this week, I had the vestiges of some flowers still in the garden. I had few bright pink geranium blossoms and a beautiful cerulean morning glory trying desperately to stay warm ( you could tell). But in the front of the house, in the pots that are snugged up against the doorway and fences I had this beauteous rose….lastrose1

There are a few buds still shivering, but so far no hard frost, so I’m hoping they will bloom and I can prop them on the kitchen windowsill as a reminder of the future….next summer.

Roasty, Toasty Part II

veggies

Nothing says “wow, it’s not summer anymore” than a pan of roasted root vegetables. Butternut squash, parsnips, carrots, red onion and baby potatoes with a light coating of olive oil, sea salt and fresh black pepper. Pop in 425° oven and you get a pan full of caramel-lee goodness. Goes great with the turkey I cooked on the other shelf of the oven at the same time!

veggies roasted

Macarons, the Magnificent Obsession….

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Just in time for Halloween, I made a batch of candy corn colored macarons over the weekend. I had a little trouble with egg whites, but recovered nicely. I only mention it because I have made these so often now, that I knew the batter was a little off and a little more runny than is recommended. I righted the ship however and was able to make decent batch. To my friend with the new apartment, I have a whole container for you when I come see you, hopefully this week!

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Well, I’ll be dipped….

OK, I admit it. I have been OBSESSING over this recipe, since I first found it on the app Panna. Stephanie Izzard, who was the first female to win “TopChef” is a regular contributor for the site and last week they did a big Thanksgiving edition of course. Stephanie’s post concerned gravy and the making of it. The secret ingredient….SURPRISE…


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WHOA!

But then I thought about it and the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. After all the key to a good gravy or sauce is in the roux and roux is nothing but fat and flour cooked together. Guess what? So is a croissant! Butter and flour, maybe a little salt, but that’s pretty much it.

I obsessed so much that I bought a radically overpriced turkey breast on Saturday for dinner on Sunday nite. So after roasting the turkey breast, which does not exactly have a lot of juice in it ( everyone knows all the drippings come from the dark meat), I had a pan that looked like this.

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So I turned up the gas, and added some wine and scraped all that yummy fond off the bottom of the pan and then put it in a sauce pan.

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I added turkey base and water to the pan and reduced it by a third. Then I put the stale croissant crumbs in the pan

croissant crumbs

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Then it was as simple as hitting the mixture with my stick mixer and voila…really good gravy!

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I used 2 croissants and they were really stale. Stale is key

I can tell you it cut the time it took to make gravy by 2/3. Don’t know if I would do this for Thanksgiving, tradition and all that, but gotta tell you, I was speechless at the quality of it! Give it a try!

Hot Pot Heaven

Those who know me, know that I will travel for Pho ( pronounced “fa” as in fa-la-la-la) and that although I like some spicy food, I don’t usually seek heat seeking missiles. Except for Pho. The Vietnamese hot soup with chicken or beef and veggies, peppers, etc. makes my nose run like a faucet and and I love every minute of it.


noodles and co

 

Well the Hubs and I were driving around on Saturday, doing some errands and trying to distract me from my ipad air less life, when we happened on Noodles and Company, a new place to nosh in Shrewsbury. I think it has been open for some time, but we just happened in after the end of lunch on Saturday. Nice and clean interior, easy ordering, table service…beer and wine. What more could you ask for?

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I was going to be content with an entree but then I saw the “Fig and Pig” flatbread and I just had to try it. Yummy thin garlic naan bread with pulled pork, figs, balsamic syrup, red onion and goat cheese. Nom, nom, nom….

pad thai

The Hubs had his favorite Pad Thai with chicken and judged it excellant!

hot pot

And I had the Thai Hot Pot, which tasted and looked suspiciously like Pho, I think they called it Hot Pot because it’s easier to pronounce. That curry broth! The red curry peppers! The lime and cilantro! With the usual noodles, onions, carrots, etc. Hotty, hot, hot and very good!