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! Etc. Etc. Etc.
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. 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 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 kitchenware 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, or into those 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!”
Our Kitchen Here in Florida
(We even have live fish in the kitchen.) 🙂
Roasting Salted Grapefruit, Yum.
When I started this post Gordon was working overseas for 15 months so it pretty much was my kitchen. I then realized that this isn’t just Julie’s Kitchen, or Gordon’s Kitchen, or Brodie’s Kitchen, or Mackenzie’s Kitchen… It is OUR KITCHEN!
Brodie and his friend Justin Making Cuban’s
And Brodie and Mackenzie Making Lemon Cod
We ALL cook in this kitchen.
My 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 Timbale Casserole
The Kitchen is Ready for THIS Timbale
Although I’m sure it will frustrate you. I will do my best to talk you through this recipe. It seems that every time I make it, I make it a little differently than the last. The first ingredients are Ground Sausage, and Ground Turkey or Ground Chicken. You can also use Ground Beef if you like but I don’t eat red meat so I steer clear. I’ve also tripled this recipe here and I’m sure that will confuse you. I really don’t mean to, but when I cook Italian food I always make extra to give away and to freeze for later eating.
Italian Sweet and Hot Sausage
My other ingredients that I have listed below, including fresh herbs from our herb garden.
Fresh Garlic and Italian Cheeses
(Remember I am tripling this recipe.)
2 Packages of Ground Italian Sweet Sausage
2 Packages of Ground Italian Hot Sausage
2 Packages of Ground Turkey
3 Large Onions, Chopped
10 Garlic Cloves, Minced
Olive Oil for Cooking
1 Cup or so of Marsala Cooking Wine
2 Packages of Frozen Green Peas
2, 1 lb. Jars of any Tomato Sauce/Spaghetti Sauce/Marinara Sauce
2, 6 oz. Cans Tomato Paste
2 Bunches (Handfuls) of Fresh Parsley, Chopped
8 ounce to16 ounce Pecorino-Romano Cheese, Grated
Parmesan Cheese, Grated, Or Both
Mozzarella Cheese, If Desired, Chopped into Small Pieces
2, 1 lb. Boxes of Penne Pasta
Ready to Chop Some Onions
I started out with 3 saucepans here.
I’ve added the chopped onions on the olive oil in the pans.
Just enough to saute them into softening for about 5 minutes.
Mincing Some Garlic
I minced about 10 garlic cloves which I distributed between the 3 saucepans.
You want to saute the garlic for about 3-4 minutes with the onions.
Now it’s time to add the Ground Sausage in order to brown it.
I would like to add that when I sauteed the onions in the small saucepan, top, in the photo above, that I distributed it’s contents into the larger saucepan in the lower right.
It’s time to add the other Ground Sausage in order to brown.
It’s at this point that I change pots because I need them larger.
So, I got out my 2 woks!
In my two woks I added some olive oil and then the Ground Turkey in order to brown the meat. If I have extra fat in the pan, I drain that off into the sink.
Marsala Cooking Wine
I added about 1/2 Cup of Marsala Cooking Wine to each of my woks.
You can add a little more if you like. Taste as you go.
It’s at this point that you want to reduce the heat to simmer.
Now Add Frozen Green Peas
It is at this point that it is time to add my tomato sauce products.
I pretty much just went through our pantry and pulled out what we had. But any tomato sauce products you have will work here whether they are jarred spaghetti sauces or marinara sauces. But definitely you want to use the 2 jars of tomato paste in each wok. One in each.
Just place one jar, and one can, in one wok.
And then the other jar, and can, into the other wok.
You can eyeball this here. If you want more sauce, add more sauce. It’s up to you.
You just want to stir together and simmer on the stove top.
I happen to love the way that a wok distributes heat as opposed to a saucepan.
Chopping Parsley (Chiffonade)
That just means rolling the herbs up in a bunch and then chopping them into small pieces.
Now Add the Chopped Parsley to the Mixture in Each Wok
I love to have the woks simmer away on the stove top on a low heat creating such delicious caramelization.
Keep Stirring Occasionally
Now It’s Time To Add My Cheeses
Here I grated some Pecorino-Romano Cheese and added the grated cheese to each wok.
You can add as much or as little as you like.
The cheese will melt into the meat mixture. Still keep the heat on low, stirring occasionally.
Although I don’t have a photo of it, you can chop some Mozzarella into pieces and place into the mixture in the woks to melt as well.
Here is the mixture of one of my woks of Timbale.
I ended up freezing this to thaw out for another day in the future.
Now For Our Dinner:
Boiling the Penne Pasta
I always place a little bit of Olive Oil in the water. I also always add some Salt whenever I boil pasta.
When I finished boiling the pasta I drained it into a colander and then added it to the Timbale mixture from the second wok and stirred together.
It looks delicious, doesn’t it?
Now you can add this mixture to whatever you want, or just eat it as it is.
This is my Timbale Mixture
I like to reserve a little bit of my tomato sauce to place in the bottom of my casserole dish so that the Timbale mixture won’t stick to it.
Extremely Beautiful and Tasty
I ended up freezing the casserole above, and recently thawed it out.
AND, here it is!
We have thoroughly thawed it out and placed the casserole dish onto a baking tray to place into the oven.
I told Gordon to place some foil on top so that the pasta wouldn’t burn while cooking.
We placed this into a 350F oven for about 45 minutes.
Gordon then removed it from the oven and I had him to distribute some red sauce that we had in the refrigerator that was leftover, all over the casserole.
I then had him add some leftover Mozzarella Cheese all over our pasta timbale casserole and then to place it back into the oven for another 20 minutes. While being vented with the aluminum foil. The last 10 minutes I told him to remove the foil so that the cheese could melt and maybe brown just a little bit.
In the meantime, I gathered some herbs from our herb garden and washed them.
Chives, Italian Oregano, Parsley, and Basil Leaves
We had some 5 grain Italian loaf bread that was already sliced so I spread some butter/margarine on top, sprinkled some garlic salt, and then placed some of our leftover roasted garlic onto each slice of bread. I then placed them into the oven on 350F for about 8 minutes.
After the 8 minutes I removed the bread from the oven and placed herbs all around each slice. I wanted it to look kind of artisan.
I Believe That I Succeeded
Timbale Casserole Out of the Oven
Gordon Helping Himself
Beautiful, Delicious, Tasty
I Do Love The Leftovers! 🙂
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
Julie’s Egg Salad Sandwiches
I adore Egg Salad! I cannot even begin to give you measurements, as I make it different every time. I also think that personal taste plays an important role here. So, I start by hard boiling about 10 – 12 eggs. When they are cooled I peel them of their shells and place them into a bowl. I then use a fork to shred them into chunks. I then add Mayonnaise to taste, yellow mustard to taste, freshly ground black pepper to taste, Tabasco Hot Sauce to taste, Sweet Pickle Relish to taste, Sweet Pickle juice to taste. I think that is about it. I then place the egg salad onto some sort of bread with lettuce. Sometimes I use chopped olives in place of the sweet pickle relish. Either way, It’s delicious y’all! 🙂
The Cuban is an excellent pressed sandwich.
All you need is the Cuban Bread, Ham, Roasted Pork, Swiss Cheese, Dill Pickle, and Yellow Mustard.
Here our son Brodie has assembled his sandwich and has placed it into our Panini Press.
Here he is brushing butter/margarine over the top of it.
Cuban Bread is Baked with a Palm Leaf
It comes in the bread bag. See photo top, left.
I saved it and once I made my Cuban I placed the palm leaf onto it in the crevice where it was baked.
Nothing Beats a Cuban served with Plantain Chips
Great Book, Great Bread
Another Great Cuban!