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hi gusfriends!  ok, you know about bitch face bite and bad reaction to first antibiotics but here's the update.  new antibiotics used the free ones up to today then on to the frozen ones from my mom -- the expired ones but i did that research and they are most likely still good.

still have a bit of nausea -- most likely because i don't take any medications -- now even taking aspirin, dammit!

then on thursday, picking up a box of appellate briefs from two doors down, i was trying to get into the big heavy office front door and it slammed on my hand on top of the cat bites.  swelled up like crazy immediately -- golf ball sized -- still and the hand is black.  fingers work and i'm practicing a bit of two hand typing but not for long periods.  aches like shite and my brain is fuzzy from the antibiotics.

i created a clever cold pack/compression thingy with a thin kitchen towel wrapped around my hand then slid my frozen wine bottle cooler sleeve down over hand and towel.  the wine bottle cooler sleeve (i have two) works brilliantly because it is tight -- not too freezing and looks pretty.  i swear, health care in this country would be a brilliant idea -- oh, wait, i can sign up on tuesday!!!!!  and then get real health care on 1/1/14.

ok so i feel guilty about missing tuesday so thought i better get this diary compiled before the next catastrophe!!

Prosperity Sandwiches from Cook's Country Kitchen

These open-faced sandwiches are made from toasted white bread topped with sliced chicken or turkey, smoky ham or bacon, and a rich, cheesy white sauce. Vegetables often show up in this hefty sandwich as well, and we opted for tomato and sautéed mushrooms in our version. After it’s assembled, the whole thing is passed under a broiler until it’s golden brown and bubbly. We used sturdy, thick-cut bread to stand up to all the toppings and made the sauce extra thick so it stayed put under the broiler.

Serves 4

Leftover turkey works great here.

INGREDIENTS

5tablespoons unsalted butter
8ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thin
1 shallot, minced
1/2teaspoon salt
1/4cup (4 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
2cups whole milk
8ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
2teaspoons Dijon mustard
2teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2teaspoon pepper
4 (3/4-inch-thick) slices rustic white bread
8ounces thinly sliced roast turkey
8ounces thinly sliced deli ham
2 tomatoes, cored, cut into 8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices, and patted dry

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, shallot, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to bowl.

2. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in now-empty saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 4 to 6 minutes. Off heat, stir in 1/2 cup cheddar, mustard, Worcestershire, and pepper; set aside.

3. Adjust oven rack 5 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil spray. Arrange bread slices on prepared baking sheet and broil until toasted, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

4. Divide mushroom mixture among toasted bread slices. Arrange 2 ounces turkey, 2 ounces ham, and 2 slices tomato over mushrooms on each slice of toast. Spoon 1/2 cup cheese sauce evenly over each sandwich and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar. Broil until cheddar is browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Serve.

Italian Vegetable Stew (Ciambotta) from America's Test Kitchen

Italy’s ciambotta is a ratatouille-like stew chock-full of veggies that makes for a hearty one-bowl meal with nary a trace of meat. We wanted to avoid the ill fate of most recipes, which end in mushy vegetables drowning in a weak broth. In order to optimize the texture of the zucchini and peppers, we employed the dry heat of a skillet. To address the broth, we embraced eggplant’s natural tendency to fall apart and cooked it until it completely assimilated into a thickened tomato-enriched sauce. Finally, we found that a traditional pestata of garlic and herbs provided the biggest flavor punch when added near the end of cooking.

Serves 6 to 8

Serve this hearty vegetable stew with crusty bread.

INGREDIENTS

Pestata

1/3cup chopped fresh basil
1/3cup fresh oregano leaves
6 garlic cloves, minced
2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4teaspoon red pepper flakes

Stew

12ounces eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  Salt
4tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1large onion, chopped
1pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2tablespoons tomato paste
2 1/4cups water
1(28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained with juice reserved and chopped coarse
2 zucchini (8 ounces each), seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 red or yellow bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1cup shredded fresh basil

INSTRUCTIONS

1. FOR THE PESTATA: Process all ingredients in food processor until finely ground, about 1 minute, scraping sides as necessary. Set aside.

2. FOR THE STEW: Toss eggplant with 1½ teaspoons salt in bowl. Line surface of large plate with double layer of coffee filters and lightly spray with vegetable oil spray. Spread eggplant in even layer over coffee filters. Microwave eggplant, uncovered, until dry to touch and slightly shriveled, 8 to 12 minutes, tossing once halfway through to ensure that eggplant cooks evenly.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over high heat until shimmering. Add eggplant, onion, and potatoes; cook, stirring frequently, until eggplant browns and surface of potatoes becomes translucent, about 2 minutes. Push vegetables to sides of pot; add 1 tablespoon oil and tomato paste to clearing. Cook paste, stirring frequently, until brown fond develops on bottom of pot, about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups water and chopped tomatoes and juice, scraping up any browned bits, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and gently simmer until eggplant is completely broken down and potatoes are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over high heat until smoking. Add zucchini, bell peppers, and ½ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are browned and tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Push vegetables to sides of skillet; add pestata and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir pestata into vegetables and transfer vegetables to bowl. Add remaining ¼ cup water to skillet off heat, scraping up browned bits.

5. Remove pot from heat and stir reserved vegetables and water from skillet into vegetables in Dutch oven. Cover pot and let stand for 20 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Stir in basil and season with salt to taste; serve.

Techniques:

What is a Pestata?

A relative of pesto, pistou, ­picada, and gremolata, ­pestata is a potent garlic, herb, and olive oil puree. When stirred into the ­ciambotta toward the end of cooking, its grassy bite freshens the rich, earthy flavors of the stew.

A pestata made with olive oil, fresh oregano and basil, garlic, and red pepper flakes brightens the stew.

Cream Cheese Coffee Cake from Cook's Illustrated

MAKES ONE 10-INCH CAKE, SERVING 12 TO 16

Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator, covered tightly with plastic wrap. For optimal texture, allow the cake to return to room temperature before serving.

INGREDIENTS

Lemon Sugar-Almond Topping  

1/4cup sugar
1 1/2teaspoons finely grated zest from 1 lemon
1/2cup sliced almonds

Cake  

2 1/4cups (11 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/8teaspoons baking powder
1 1/8teaspoons baking soda
1teaspoon table salt
10tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1cup plus 7 tablespoons sugar
1tablespoon finely grated zest plus 4 teaspoons juice from 1 to 2 lemons
4large eggs
5teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4cups sour cream
8ounces cream cheese, softened

INSTRUCTIONS

1. FOR THE TOPPING: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together sugar and lemon zest in small bowl until combined and sugar is moistened. Stir in almonds; set aside.

2. FOR THE CAKE: Spray 10-inch tube pan with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside. In stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter, 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, and lemon zest at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, about 20 seconds, and scraping down beater and sides of bowl as necessary. Add 4 teaspoons vanilla and mix to combine. Reduce speed to low and add one-third flour mixture, followed by half of sour cream, mixing until incorporated after each addition, 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat, using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining sour cream. Scrape bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 10 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour.

3. Reserve 1¼ cups batter and set aside. Spoon remaining batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Return now-empty bowl to mixer and beat cream cheese, remaining 5 tablespoons sugar, lemon juice, and remaining teaspoon vanilla on medium speed until smooth and slightly lightened, about 1 minute. Add ¼ cup reserved batter and mix until incorporated. Spoon cheese filling mixture evenly over batter, keeping filling about 1 inch from edges of pan; smooth top. Spread remaining cup reserved batter over filling and smooth top. With butter knife or offset spatula, gently swirl filling into batter using figure-8 motion, being careful to not drag filling to bottom or edges of pan. Firmly tap pan on counter 2 or 3 times to dislodge any bubbles. Sprinkle lemon sugar-almond topping evenly over batter and gently press into batter to adhere.

4. Bake until top is golden and just firm, and long skewer inserted into cake comes out clean (skewer will be wet if inserted into cheese filling), 45 to 50 minutes. Remove pan from oven and firmly tap on counter 2 or 3 times (top of cake may sink slightly). Cool cake in pan on wire rack 1 hour. Gently invert cake onto rimmed baking sheet (cake will be topping-side down); remove tube pan, place wire rack on top of cake, and invert cake sugar-side up. Cool to room temperature, about 1½ hours. Cut into slices and serve.

Technique:

Tapping the tube pan on the counter before and after baking eliminates any large air pockets in the filling.

Copied from flumpty's friday a.m. diary!!  thanks flumpty and everyone!!
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