I think careful cooking is love, don’t you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who is close to you is about as nice a Valentine as you can give.Julia Child
I was at Publix to do some shopping on a hectic day and grabbed some goat cheese for a recipe I was making. Although I prefer Trader Joe’s for cheese shopping, I figured this was easier and didn’t have time that day. When the cashier rang up the groceries, my Chevre Goat Cheese was $16! It was from France, granted, but sixteen bucks?
I just can’t pay sixteen dollars for cheese.I told the nice Publix cashier.
Who then had to get the nice Publix manager to do a nice void. Shopping is a pleasure at Publix, but 16 dollar cheese? Not so much.
When I went to Trader Joe’s, I was very anxious to see how much their same size log of goat cheese (also from France) cost. $4.99! Which is why it pains me so much to EVER buy cheese at Publix, where it costs three times as much, usually at a lesser quality.
Another great find I made at Trader Joe’s is the Crispy Jalapeno Pieces. I’d just been thinking after Thanksgiving how much I enjoyed those French’s Fried Onion things that go on top of the Green Bean Casserole and was thinking of other ways to use them, when I discovered these Crispy Jalapeno Pieces. OMG! Very similar to the Crispy Fried Onion, but super spicy!
The container recommend using them on mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, sushi, tacos, nachos or vegetable dishes, but they are also delicious on top of soup, in sandwiches and on scrambled eggs. Basically anywhere a bit of crunch and heat is needed. I even mixed them in with my popcorn the other night and also think they would be great crushed and mixed in with panko to coat fish or chicken filets and baked. The “serving suggestion” on the label shows them served straight up, in a bowl, which is how I’ve been eating them, so I need to stop! They are 40 calories per tablespoon, but there are 22 servings per container-so good as a garnish, not so good as a snack mainstay!
Superbowl 26 (they always test my Roman Numeral knowledge!) happened Sunday. We had Emma, Guillermo and Lucy over for the big game, between the Cincinnati Bengals and the L.A. Rams. None of us cared much who won, but were kind of rooting for the Bengals, as the underdogs. I served my Buffalo Chicken Dip with Tostitos and celery sticks and Ceviche for appetizers. At halftime, we had Grilled Wings and Grilled Cajun Sausage. Zeke made the wings three ways- Lemon Pepper, Buffalo and Asian. The winner of the Superbowl Wing competition was Asian. He tossed the wings in a Buffalo Wild Wing Sauce he picked up at Publix. I served hot baguette slices on the side.
The commercials were- underwhelming- although when I went online to watch the best ones, apparently I missed some. The one with Larry David (for FTX crypto) was my favorite! It seemed mostly like a lot of crypto currency and electric car ads. When the floating QR code bounced across the screen, Guillermo took his phone and scanned it, to find- guess what? another crypto currency company- Coinbar. I told them the commercial looked like Pong; they looked back at me blankly.
I enjoyed the half-time show- Dr. Dre, 50 Cent and Eminem were the music my kids listened to growing up, so I could relate and the game was an exciting one, although I went to bed before it ended.
everybody born between 1985 and 1995 saw the Super Bowl halftime show line up and was like “sweet, instead of doing a show for old people like the Rolling Stones or Paul McCartney or The Who, they did one for us young people.”
and then 10 seconds later it hit us.Roger Sherman on Twitter
I made Linzer Heart Cookies, an old Silver Palate recipe, to give out to family and friends. They’re filled with raspberry jam, which I’d picked up at Cecile Bakery.
Our Valentine’s Day itself was quiet. Zeke and I went for a walk around the neighborhood, came home and had a drink outside, with some pate Zeke had picked up at Crown Liquor. We then grilled some Wagyu Skirt Steak, that had been frozen and leftover from another dinner. I served it with leftover Mashed Potatoes, and leftover Asparagus Bundles (Ina recipe). Dessert was Meringue with Lemon Mousse and Strawberries– also leftover from dinner Saturday night. So, Valentine’s Dinner was basically a conglomeration of leftovers.
We exchanged cards- Zeke’s had two dogs on the cover, mine a stack of books, saying “Here’s to Our Story.” There was kind of a cool aspect to the Hallmark card I got, where you could add photos and videos to the card, so I went through my camera roll and picked out selfies of us and places we’d gone in the last year. They say people are celebrating Valentine’s Day less now, as they see it as a big racket and a way to get people to spend money. I have to say when I went to CVS Saturday to pick up something, the Valentine’s Card section was wiped out! And other people were in line with flowers, chocolates and Mylar “I Love You” balloons, so apparently it’s the Holiday’s not entirely dead.
We all know that Christmas (sub Valentine’s Day) is a big commercial racket. It’s run by a big Eastern syndicate, you know.”Lucy Van Pelt
And Emma and Guillermo didn’t get the memo that everything’s more expensive and crowded on Valentine’s Day, as they went to Ruth Chris for dinner on Monday. At 5:30 p.m., mind you, the only time Guillermo could get reservations, and that was a month ago! I told Emma, he gets points for pre-planning. They had a delicious dinner. I love Ruth Chris.
Liking lately: I missed my Book Club meeting because we had tickets to Ain’t Too Proud- the Story of the Temptations. It was great, although driving to Fort Lauderdale on a Tuesday night during rush hour, wasn’t. At any rate, I stopped reading The Lincoln Highway and am now reading The Boys, by Ron and Clint Howard. It’s the story of their lives, growing up in Hollywood and so far, I really like it. On Netflix, we watched (on Emma & Gui’s rec) The Twindler Swindler. It was fascinating, sad and a quick watch (1 hr 45 minutes).
I watched Wyatt the weekend before while A.J. visited Chris and Courtney in Colorado. We played games, went out on the boat, out to dinner etc.. but running out of things to do, and at his insistence, I got a subscription to Disney Plus, so I’ve go a Disney Plus Pusher on my hands. I called American Express this week to see if I could cancel the subscription through my card. The nice lady told me I couldn’t, but then told me exactly how to cancel my subscription through my Disney app. Apparently, she’d been through this routine before. I thanked her and added:
My grandson pressured me into getting it and I cracked!me
She laughed and that was that. I have too many streaming services as it is.
Our friends Brooks and Sharon are settling into their new abode near Ocala. They are still waiting on a couch to be delivered, but after it comes, we are going to visit. I called Sharon as I was on my way to Trader Joe’s. She said she missed Trader Joe’s since there is none where she now lives. She had a request for when we visit and that was to bring her favorite Toscano Cheese Soaked in Syrah. She’s also a fan of crunchy and spicy, so I think I’ll also bring her some Crispy Jalapeno Pieces! Better her than me.
With freedom, books, flowers and the moon, who could not be happy?Oscar Wilde
Up Next: My life, in reflection.