Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sweets,Treats and Tweets

bo wreath“Closed until next year”

It’s a good thing Big Guy doesn’t have Jake Tapper to kick around any more. Because if he were still ABC’s chief White House correspondent, and if BO had taken any questions after telling everyone to drink their eggnog (Kool-Aid?) he might have asked again where he’s been for the past 4 years.

As I noted the other day, just because Big Guy said “I don’t think I’ve been on vacation,” doesn’t mean he hasn’t been.

bo mo leaving for hawaiiConcerns about falling off the fiscal cliff caused us to economize this year. We only took one plane to Hawaii.

So hopefully we can just forget about them let the Won’s enjoy their holiday away from the public eye while we are once again free to move about the mainland. And since Big Guy has authorized the liberal use of eggnog and cookies during our “cooling off period” the balance of this post is dedicated to your recipes for Sweets and Treats.

This is my traditional Christmas bread because I’m always so busy this time of year I forget to eat the bananas and they all turn black and mushy. As it turns out, that is the key to:

Best Ever Banana Bread

2 ripe bananas mashed (by ripe I mean  black – to the point of fermentation BLACK – is that racist?)

2 eggs

1 3/4 c. flour

1 1/2 c. sugar

1 cup chopped walnuts

½ c vegetable oil

¼ plus 1 tbs. buttermilk  (I seldom have buttermilk on hand so I use 1/4 milk and a heaping tbs. of sour cream – which I do usually have)

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

½ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour  9x5 loaf pan. Combine wet ingredients in large bowl and dry ingredients in another bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix just until well combined. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake @ 325 degrees, until top is golden brown and splits slightly -  approximately 1 hour and 15-20 minutes. Can be baked in 3 smaller loaf pans in which case start checking for doneness after about 40 minutes.

I’ve been making this ever since I found the recipe in the December Bon Appétit magazine in 1981. Wow! That’s over 30 years! Where does the time go, mon chéri? Only 3 days till Christmas, and 10 to the Eggnog Summit.

Screenshot Studio capture #823


Also in the news today: Coming Soon, the much anticipated Annual Announcement of Doug Ross’ 2012 Fabulous 50 Blog winners. MOTUS has been fortunate enough to have WON every year since Big Guy was swept into office -“co-inkidentally”, the first year Doug gave out the most coveted award in the intertoobs! I sure would like to add this year’s professionally designed icon to my collection in the sidebar, so keep your fingers crossed!

Linked By: BlogsLucianneLoves, and NOBO2012 on Free Republic, Thanks!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas “Gouls” and Goulash

Don’t say you didn’t get anything you asked for this Christmas.

The Tea Party gave Boehner’s Plan B from Outer Space a giant thumbs down last night, thus ending this season’s finale of Washington’s kabuki theatre with a real cliff hanger.

house on cliffThe kabuki dilemma: Rebuilt the cliff or move the house?

It wouldn’t have made any difference. Had the Speaker herded his troops up to voluntarily march off the cliff, Harry had already announced that he was getting’ nuttin’ for Christmas.

Senate majority leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, made his “fiscal cliff” position clear in a press conference today. “We are not going to do anything,” said Reid.

Reid added, “We are not taking up anything they are working on over there.”

And BO had already said he would veto the Boehner Bargain if it somehow miraculously made it to his irresolute desk before Christmas.

610xEmpty desk, empty chair

So the Christmas Pass the buck bill had no Christmas future anyway, butt now it has no Christmas present either.

boehnercryingSorry Jon-boy, no money for Christmas presents this year.

Not that any of this matters, as the Mayan’s have deemed today the end of days anyway.

Lady M did not receive the news well, and she took matters into her own hands. She and Harry have been busy in the food dessert, working out a deal with the devil to avoid earth falling off the map of the universe. Here are some exclusive photos of them performing an ancient Mayan ceremonial ritual. If successful, their grand bargain with you-know-who will extend our Occupation of planet earth for at least another 4 years:

          icanflymimesay your prayers punk

We should know by midnight if the devil took them up on their offer. BTW, has anybody tried to call Australia this morning?

In the meantime, in case this evening’s meal is your last, what would you fix? Remember, you can afford to sell all your earthly possessions in order to finance it, so the sky’s the limit. Would you make Adrienne’s standing rib roast? Or would your tastes run to lobster? Or maybe just a great burger, pizza or pan of lasagna? Tell me, tell me!

Here’s what I’d fix. It’s humble fare butt holds a special place in many people’s hearts around here because Dewey’s Mom used to make it by the 5 gallon kettle every year for Christmas Eve. It fed everyone who still lived at home, was coming home, or simply stopped by to wish everyone tidings of the season. This makes enough to feed a small herd of reindeer, a choir of angels and a few Grinch's butt it can easily be doubled. Dewey’s Mom  called this “Gump’s Goulash” as her Dad (“Gump” to the grandkids) always made it on Christmas Eve when she was young. We just call it “Mom’s Goulash” now. 


Mom’s Goulash

1 lb. bacon (find a good one that doesn’t have any “natural smoke flavor” added, butt is simply naturally smoked – Oscar Mayer is a decent choice)

3 lbs. ground beef or chuck

4-5 medium onions, chopped

3 large cans of good tomatoes with juice, squeezed by hand into chunks if whole ( or roughly pulsed)

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Salt, pepper to taste

1 lb.pkg. of noodles

Chop bacon into small pieces and cook until brown and crisp.

Remove bacon and – now this will scare some people, butt remember, the world is coming to an end anyway – cook the onions in ALL of the bacon grease. When lightly browned, add chopped celery and cook another 2-3 minutes. Place onion/celery mixture in a bowl and set aside.

Return pan to heat and brown the ground beef. Drain most of the fat (if you must) add salt and pepper to taste, garlic powder, tomatoes with juice plus a cup of water, onion /celery mixture (including the bacon grease they cooked in), and reserved bacon pieces. Stir well and bring back to a simmer and let it cook while you prepare the noodles.

Cook noodles according to package directions (don’t forget the salt!). Drain and add immediately to goulash mixture . Stir to combine and continue simmering  pn a very low heat for about 30 minutes, adding a little extra water if it begins to stick.

You can eat it now if you must, and it will be delicious. Butt trust me on this: if you can make it a day ahead and rewarm it slowly the next day it’s even better!

Gump’s original recipe called for a cup of chopped green bell pepper, butt since nobody in Dewey’s family would eat them, they never once made it into the Christmas Eve pot. I leave it to your discretion, butt I can assure you that it is perfect without them.

Crusty bread, green salad: it’s a humble feast.

As a wise man once said: “it don’t get no better than this.”

Linked By: Larwyn’s Linx on Doug Ross@Journal, and Mireille Buser on facebook, and BlogsLucianneLoves, and NOBO2012 on Free Republic, Thanks!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Peas On Earth, Good Shrill to Men

I see we’ve returned to what somebody called the “smartest man in the room” swagger. This “eat your peas” scold was last heard during the fiscal cliff talks 2011.


Butt yesterday’s presser completed Big Guy’s on the job growth curve: from whiny baby,

bo no pouting in politics

to petulant child,

pout sarah

through cocky adolescence,

                 hee,hee,heeok now werefaking

before emerging in tact as the peevish, hubristic adult he is today.

cleveland bo in silhouettebo smirk

All the while staying true to his community organizer roots.

bo christie

And when asked where he’s been on gun control for the last 4 years by that uppity ABC reporter, Big Guy really put him in his place: “I don’t think I’ve been on vacation,” he said.

Like many of BO’s statements, the facts do not bear his words out. And just for the record, I should note that it hasn’t exactly been a picnic for the rest of us either, Big Guy.

will work for powerups

Anyway, I thought I should dedicate today’s holiday recipe thread to the little green legume in honor of yesterday’s second annual “shut up and eat your peas” speech, butt aside from pea soup, I don’t really care for peas very much.

no you eat your peas

Fortunately I ran across another story to inspire today’s culinary direction. It also qualifies as this week’s most ironic story: “Iodine Deficiency – An Old Epidemic Is Back”. As the Instapundit put it, “It doesn’t help to put iodine in salt, if people quit using salt.”

Since it turns out, despite everything you’ve heard to the contrary, salt is actually good for most people, I’m focusing on salt-centric recipes today. This is all I’ve got, but somebody must have a a good recipe for corned beef, pickles, sauerkraut and gravlax. Or pretzels! And how about salted caramels?


Salt Crusted Baked Potatoes:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Russet potatoes: 1 per person, scrub clean and dry thoroughly. Pierce the flesh with a fork 6-12 times; make sure you poke deeply to allow the steam to escape.

Using olive oil or canola oil, coat the potatoes generously.

Roll the spuds around in kosher salt or sea salt to coat.

Place your spuds directly on the oven rack. Put a cookie sheet underneath to catch any salt that falls off

Bake at 400 degrees F for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours – again, dependent on size. Test for doneness by piercing flesh with a fork, should be soft all the way through.

Cut the baked potatoes in half lengthwise, squeeze the potatoes a bit by adding pressure at both ends.

Add any or all of your favorite toppings: sour cream, butter, chives, cheese, bacon - although it will taste quite fine unadorned if the skin has become properly crisped. Butt remember: fat slows down the rate of absorption of carbohydrates, thus giving your potato a lower glycemic index! And that’s a good thing, so load ‘em up.

Oh, and while you probably won’t need it if you eat the skin – and you should – feel free to add more iodized table salt if you want. It’s good for you.

Note: some real chefs skip the oil, beat an egg white, add kosher salt and smear it over the skin before baking. More salt sticks this way, butt I like the olive oil flavoring.

salted_caramel_cupcake_0034aHmmmm…maybe this would’ve been a better choice.

Linked By: BlogsLucianneLoves, and NOBO2012 on Free Republic, Thanks!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hudson’s, the Buhl Café and Mrs. P’s Maurice

If there’s one thing you learn as former Speaker of the House, it’s how to effectively place the blame. And Nancy took advantage of that experience yesterday:

“How does something like this happen? Because a person with impaired judgment had access to firepower that should be outlawed. There is no reason why these assault magazines – and that’s what they are. We’ve got to call them what they are.”

So now you who to blame for the Newtown tragedy: Assault Magazines.

obamacoversScreenshot Studio capture #818


Maybe San Fran Nan should watch this video (h/t Nancy/Guest – not Fancy Nancy) before she discusses assault magazines again or leaps into a discussion of “assault bullets.”

I return you to now our regular Christmas Season programming: Salads.

My contribution today, while technically a salad, is actually more of a lunch or dinner, and a summer one at that. Butt as December thoughts turn to Christmas, Dewey’s thoughts turned to the old Hudson’s Department Store - where they claim to have invented the Maurice Salad – and he sent me this recipe that he got from Mrs. P. Dewey remembers the version served at the now defunct Buhl Café best, butt they’re essentially the same.

Here’s the original version, complements of  Mrs. P of Patum Peperium:


J. L. Hudson's Maurice Salad
(serves 6-8)
2 tsp. white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. onion juice (grate onion with fine grater)
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tbspns. chopped fresh parsley
1 hard cooked egg, finely chopped
salt to taste
14 oz. ham, cut into strips
14 oz cooked turkey breast
14 oz Swiss cheese
1/2 cup slivered sweet gerkins
1 head Iceberg lettuce, shredded
12-16 pimento stuffed olives

Combine the first 6 dressing ingredients and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add remaining dressing ingredients and mix well.  Combine the ham, turkey, cheese and pickles together in a large bowl.  Toss together with the dressing.  Divide lettuce among the plates, top with salad and garnish each plate with 2 olives.  Serve with fresh bread.

Garnish with tomato wedges, hard boiled egg wedges, radishes and olives to make it The Buhl Cafe version.

Little Mo recommends adding to the gerkins or replacing the gerkins with watermelon pickles. I don’t know if he really likes the salad with watermelon pickles or if he just wanted me to say “gerkins” two more times.

Ah yes! Detroit. Dewey at one time worked in all 4 buildings standing at the intersection of Larned and Griswold in the city’s Financial District: One Woodward, The Guardian Building the Buhl Building and the late-to-the-game Madden Building. Remembering anew what once was.

one woodward 22


one woodward statueDetroit-Office-940x480.jpg one woodward

Anr one woodwardone woodward mich con headquarters built 1963


guardian bldg plaque

guardian bldg lobbyguardianbanking%20hall%20of%20the%20guardian%20building%202

              guardian bldg temple of finance muralSONY DSC

guardian building lobby




   buhl25-5-buhl-building-1926-dacbuhl1buhl.buildy griswold entrancejpgbuhl ceilingbuhl lobby

The Madden Building: late comer

one madden bldg

Madden Building aka 150 Jefferson

PS Please pray for MOTUS’ little brother mirror who is having open heart surgery today. Thank you.

Linked By: Larwyn’s Linx on Doug Ross@Journal, and Peter Hekking on facebook, and  BlogsLucianneLoves, and NOBO2012 on Free Republic, Thanks!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Boy and his Dogs

Outstanding roundup of commentary and food offerings yesterday! Aside from Onofre’s Arm’s recipe for Tyrannical Dictatorship Stew –”TDS”…sounds more like a sexually transmitted disease…I’m going to try them all.

Not to ruin your appetites, butt I just wanted to pass this recently made portrait of adorable cuteness on:

mo lilbo lilboyCute kid, cute dog…two out of three ain’t bad.

And this next one, well, just consider it an early Christmas present:

mo toned armsLet’s just see how toned those guns (can I still say that?) are without my magical powers.

Framed copies now available; place your order today to receive your limited edition copy of “When Batwings Fly.”

And now, on to the soup course: We’re having beans. Because they are good and good for you. And cheap. I predict that will be increasingly important as we move FORWARD!

This is also very easy. Doubled and served with corn bread, warm flour tortillas or tortilla chips it will easily feed a dozen hungry carolers, shoppers or tree trimmers. If you follow MOTUS’ helpful suggestions, it’s even easier.


1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, washed and patted dry. (Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. – or, even easier: use a skinned, boned, rotisserie chicken . If it’s  big, like from Costco, a half chicken is enough ,dark and white meat combined is fine, in fact I prefer it)
2 cans (14 oz. ea.) chicken broth
1 jar (48 oz.) great northern beans (aka “navy”), with liquid(Randall’s if you’re fortunate enough to live in the Midwest, otherwise 3 cans of any variety small white beans will do
1 large onion, chopped
2 t. minced fresh garlic (the kind you buy in a jar works fine for this, just don’t scrimp on the quantity, this is not a pre-Midnight Mass sort of dish)
2 cans (3 oz.) chopped mild green chilies, with liquid
2 tsp. ground cumin (heaping) 
2 tsp. ground oregano

UPDATE: 1/4 tsp. cayenne and a glug or two of your favorite hot sauce to taste

Garnish with green chopped onion tops, shredded cheese  and/or sour cream (optional)

In a large pot, sweat the  onion and garlic in a small  amount of oil until onion is translucent., don’t brown.  Add the broth, beans (with liquid),chilies (with liquid), cumin and oregano . Stir, bring to a boil and add chicken pieces. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

It’s even better the next day, butt you aren’t likely to have much left.

Serves 6

If you are an inveterate recipe tinkerer, like MOTUS is, don’t. This is perfect as is. And no, it really doesn’t need any additional salt.

Linked By: Ann Moorman on facebook, and BlogsLucianneLoves, and NOBO2012 on Free Republic, Thanks!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Keep Calm and Keep Cooking

Like many of you, MOTUS has many Christmas duties to discharge in 3 different cities, so I’m going to be very busy. Because of that, and perhaps a certain degree of war-weariness, I need to restrain my posting time this week.

I will be posting an open thread topic, along with a recipe of the day. Here’s your assignment:


So let’s start with appetizers today and work our way through the buffet line as the week progresses.

Here’s one of my favorite, easy-peasy (although no peas were actually harmed in the making of this dish) pre-prandial snacks: Smoked trout or whitefish pate. If you can’t score any smoked fish at your local grocery, fish market, Sam’s or Costco there’s always the intertoobz.


Smoked Trout or Whitefish Pate

1 smoked lake trout, brook trout or whitefish filet, approx. 6-8 oz., skinned and boned

8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1-2 tablespoons (or to taste, MOTUS likes lots) prepared, well drained horseradish (should be fresh, as horseradish loses it’s “kick” after being opened for long)

1 Tbs. lemon juice

Fresh parsley, finely minced

Skin and bone smoked fish (MOTUS also scrapes off any of the gray flesh which she knows is filled with omega 3 oils, butt also has a tendency to taste fishy), break into pieces and place in the bowl of a food processor along with the cream cheese (divided into 3-4 chunks), horseradish and lemon juice. Pulse until very well blended and smooth. No processor:? No problem: just beat with an electric mixer. Pate  will be chunkier butt equally delicious.

Scrape mixture into a serving bowl and stir in approx. 1 tablespoon of the minced parsley. Garnish with a final sprinkling of parsley.

Serve with an assortment of your favorite crackers or toasted baguette slices.

May be tarted up as you see fit with fresh dill sprigs, chives, capers,  baby arugula -whatever.

christmas trout pate

Or if you’re really feeling flush, (and who is?) you can even turn it into an elegant starter by wrapping it in some cold smoked salmon and serving it on greens.


This is a really easy spread that everyone seems to love. It is equally at home having afternoon tea with the crumpets as it is mingling with the tea trolley crowd.

So please. post your thoughts on the topics of the day and/or your favorite recipes: appetizers today, soup tomorrow, salads Wednesday…we’ll get to desserts well before Christmas!

Sure beats politics during the season once dedicated to peace on earth and good will towards men.


Linked By: BlogsLucianneLoves, and NOBO2012 on Free Republic, Thanks!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

If you lock up the lunatics before they commit a crime, who will run the government?

The Gateway Pundit has details on a little reported fact that may be relevant to the Connecticut school massacre:

Here’s a fact you might not know – Connecticut is one of only SIX states in the U.S. that doesn’t have a type of “assisted outpatient treatment” (AOT) law (sometimes referred to as “involuntary outpatient treatment”). There’s no one standard for these types of laws, but (roughly speaking) these are laws that allow for people with mental illness to be forcibly treated BEFORE they commit a serious crime. Whereas previous legal standards held that the mentally ill cannot be institutionalized or medicated until they harm someone or themselves, or until they express an immediate intent to do so, AOT laws (again, roughly speaking) allow for preventative institutionalization or forced medication (I highly recommend reading the data cited in the link I provided in this paragraph, especially regarding what is known as “first episode psychosis”).

Apparently far left groups (the ACLU filing against the law here) defeated a Connecticut mental health protections law just months before the Newtown shootings. Their primary concern being that the proposed law would “severely curtail the privacy rights and liberty issues of people with psychiatric disabilities.”

Disabilities?” That’s a nice politically correct term. Unfortunately nobody on the ACLU staff addressed the severe curtailment of the privacy rights and liberties of the victims of a person suffering from one of these “dangerous disabilities.”

And that’s all MOTUS is going to say regarding this horror, concurring completely with Clarice’s Pieces today:

So spare us all for a decent interval the long distance shibboleths of gun control, the amateur psychoanalysis, the morbid and soul killing paparazzi shots of parents learning for the first time of the slaughter of their children.
Let's have a decent silence to contemplate the eternal nature of evil and the tragic loss we all feel.

Back away from the microphones.

Put down those cameras.

Let us just grieve.


In other news: Hillary Clinton will be unable to testify on the Benghazi affair this week since apparently she fell down and broke her crown.

Jack and Jill went up the hill

bo hill yikes

To fetch a pail of water.

benghazi bombing

Jack fell down and broke his crown,


And Jill came tumbling after.

hilzI tells you, it was the movie!

Moral of the story: Be very careful of the company you keep, for it may drag you back into all your old, bad habits.


And who knows what may may come tumbling down behind:

obama nixon

“I’m just telling you, son, it’s always about the cover-up.”

               APTOPIX Obama Connecticut School Shootingobama_nixon

Linked By: Larwyn’s Linx on Doug Ross@Journal,  BlogsLucianneLoves, and NOBO2012 on Free Republic, Thanks!