Perhaps I should have named this post, ‘Oh, so, JULIE’S Cooking?’
As opposed to, ‘Gordon the great chef, cooks the most spectacular meals you have ever eaten in your life!
It will be a pleasure to eat there! OMG! You will love all HIS food! This is going to be a spectacular night of eating. It will blow your mind!
Wait, what? Oh, so Julie’s Cooking?’ Huh…..
Gordon is the one that has always been known for his culinary prowess.
He learned cooking from his parents, Milton and Sarajane Whann. He also grew up watching Julia Child on T.V. with his mother. The Whann Family were Foodies long before there were “Foodies.” They would travel the world sending us postcards detailing everything they ate, not even mentioning any sites they may have seen. I always used to ask them if they did anything other than eat on their trips?
Gordon graduated from Culinary School although that is not his profession in life.
It was just something he wanted to be educated in.
Not to mention that he does seem to have a natural talent where food is concerned.
However, “Oh, so Julie’s Cooking?” was a standard reply from various people that we won’t discuss here. I was seen as something of a simpleton by these people. So, to find out that I would be cooking their meal was something of a reason to them to be alarmed. 🙂
I would hear comments like, “So Julie, YOU cooked this?” As if it’s a miracle that I can even boil water! I always wanted to say, ‘Yes, Jesus has overtaken my body and created this meal all on HIS own! My hands were just HIS clay!’
I really don’t know why they viewed me the way that they did? Perhaps because they were Yankees and I was a hair and make up Southern kind of girl? The typical southern belle. I’m sure Dolly Parton has been viewed for many decades as not knowing how to do anything simply because she looks the way she looks.
However, whenever you underestimate Dolly, you do so at your peril!
(She’s smarter than all of you!)
When we moved from Hawaii to Fort Meade, Maryland in August, 1999, it was a good two months before our household goods arrived. But when they did it was my job to get us all organized. The kids were in school, Gordon was working, so it was up to me. One of the first rooms you organize is the kitchen.
I would drop the kids off at school and then come home to unpack everything. I bought some nice shelf paper for the kitchen shelves, I cut it, adhered it, and then I proceeded to unpack all those boxes with our kitchen ware in them. While the dishwasher was washing some, I was hand washing a lot of others. It took me 3 days to get that kitchen in order. I think the only thing Gordon contributed to that kitchen was to hang the pot rack onto the ceiling.
So, after me spending 3 whole days organizing that kitchen, laying shelf paper, hand washing or electric dish washing all those dishes, cups, glasses, pots, pans, cutlery……placing everything unto those shelves, drawers, cabinets… Not to mention all the food I had to buy to stock up that kitchen. When you move from overseas you have to start a kitchen supply all over again as you can’t take many foods with you, just some dry goods, mainly spices. So, after all that work Gordon had the audacity to walk into the kitchen once I had completed it and looked all around with pride and said…………………………
“Ahhhh, MY Kitchen!”
Me: “WHAT? YOUR kitchen? YOUR KITCHEN????
I spend 3 days unpacking, organizing, washing, laying shelf paper, putting tons of boxes away and this is “YOUR KITCHEN? You hang a pot rack and that makes it YOUR KITCHEN??”
I did actually think about calling this blog post, Julie’s Kitchen…….
(We even have live fish in the kitchen.) 🙂
Roasting Salted Grapefruit
………because with Gordon working overseas for the past year it pretty much has been “my kitchen.” But then I remembered back to our ‘disagreement’ from above. I realized that this isn’t just Julie’s Kitchen, or Gordon’s Kitchen, or Brodie’s Kitchen, or Mackenzie’s Kitchen, or Justin’s Kitchen… It is OUR KITCHEN!
Brodie and Justin Making Cuban’s
And Brodie and Mackenzie Making Lemon Cod
We ALL cook in this kitchen.
Egg Salad Sandwiches w/ Hot Olives and Spring Onions
We cook delicious foods that we share with each other.
My Breakfast of Scrambled Eggs, Fried Ham, Grits with Butter, and a Cheddar Drop Biscuit
Brodie’s Yellow Eggs and Ham
(He sure does love the pepper.) 🙂
Even though we do have me cooking many dishes throughout this website, I wanted to create a post all for my own in the kitchen that I spend more time in than any other room in the house. Nothing here will be complicated, just some things that I like cooking and eating.
Welcome, and I hope you stay awhile.
Blog Entries Start Here
There is always fruit in this kitchen.
Julie’s “She Sells Sea Shells” Crab and Pasta Salad
I based this recipe on Gordon’s Imitation Crab Salad:
Gordon makes the best crab salad ever. The secret is using rice wine. Also we don’t use real crab, this is imitation crab, white fish from Alaska. I love real crab but unless we know where it comes from then we don’t eat it. Next time we are in Virginia and Maryland we will definitely chow down on some crab.
The pretty bowls I bought at the Asian Supermarket. Here I glued two bowls together, one upside down. I have a friend who’s birthday sign is Cancer, the crab, I’m planning on giving her a nice set as a gift. I do love mine though!
2 Packages Imitation Crab 8 oz. Louis Kemp Crab Delights (flaked)
3 Celery Stalks (finely chopped)
2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1 Cup Miracle Whip Salad Dressing
3 Tbsp Sweet Cooking Rice Seasoning (Kikkoman Manjo Aji-Mirin)
In a medium bowl, flake your imitation crab meat then add the rest of the ingredients.
Mix all the ingredients well and taste to ensure the seasoning is to your liking.
Chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator and serve with your favorite crackers.
We like the butter flavored ones best!
I base my recipe on Gordon’s, above, except I use a bit more of everything. I also like Hellman’s Mayonnaise here as opposed to Gordon’s Miracle Whip. I also added some shredded carrots I had leftover in the ice box.
I’m also adding Sea Shell Pasta to mine!
The Mirin here is the secret ingredient!
Buy it! Also use it in macaroni salad. It brings a better taste to these kinds of salads.
I used my hands to flake the Imitation Crab (Alaskan White Fish)
Dice some celery, as much as you like.
Rinse and add your shredded carrots.
I just eyeball everything. Give the salad a bit of balance.
I did try and dice the carrots as small as I could.
While I was assembling this salad I did boil some pasta shells on the stove top until al dente.
When drained, add them to the ingredients in your mixing bowl.
Hellman’s Mayonnaise to Bind
I myself don’t like a lot of mayonnaise.
I like to see my salad and not have it all drenched in white.
Now just place into the ice box for about an hour so that the salad can chill together with the flavors blending.
Serve any way that you like.
See You at the Seashore!
I just wanted to do a shout out to my most favorite potato chip in the world.
The Crab Chip! Seasoned with Old Bay Seasoning.
Dried Mango Balls 🙂
Papaya and Florida Avocado Salsa
w/ Platano Chips
3 Florida Avocados (or 6 Mexican Avocados) Florida Avocados are much larger.
1 Large Papaya (Seeds removed)
2 Medium Tomatoes
1 Medium Red Onion
1-2 Jalapeno Peppers (Deseeded)
2 Habanero Peppers (Deseeded)
3 Garlic Cloves
3 Limes (Juice and Zest)
1 t. Ground Cumin
1/2 t. Salt (I used a Florida Spice Salt Blend)
1/4 t. Freshly Ground Black Pepper
You will need a blender here.
First wash and chop your tomatoes into chunks and add them to the blender. Same with the Red Onion, Jalapeno Peppers, Habernero Peppers, and Garlic Cloves.
You want to pulverize this until you get a mushy mess.
There is always that one thing that will adhere itself to the side of the blender and never get ground up when we want it to. 🙁
Initially I just used 2 Florida Avocados but changed my mind near the end of the recipe and added a third one. You just want to scoop the meat out of the shells and add it to the blender.
Just add it to the blender.
Remove the seeds from a large Papaya, and scoop the Papaya out and into the blender as well.
Now we have a fully loaded blender.
Here is where I added my 3rd. Florida Avocado.
It’s also at this stage where I add the Florida Salt Blend, Freshly Ground Black Pepper, and Ground Cumin.
It’s also time to add the juice of 3 limes and all the zest to the messy mush in the blender. Give it a few more turns and then it is ready to pour into a bowl or two. Just add some sort of dipping chips or veggies and you have a great and healthy appetizer.
Salsa and Chips at Casa Whann