March 05, 2006

Real Bar-B-Que

Well, it seems the Phinny One and I both watched Alton Brown the other day, and I admit that Good Eats did indeed make me hungry. I have found some okay Bar-B-Que up here (or BBQ if you prefer), but nothing like I was used to getting in the South. So, Friday I splurged a bit and picked up a pork shoulder, bone in (also a Pot Roast, but that's another episode) and brought it home. I brined it in roughly three quarts of water, 12oz kosher salt, 3/4 cup molasses, good pinch of chipotle, and .5 cup (maybe a bit more) of apple cider vinegar for about 12 hours. I then drained, rubbed with truffle oil (olive oil will do), placed it on the grill, fired up the side smoker, and let it go for about 10 hours at no less than 150 and no more than 225, trying to keep it close to 210. Made up a quick batch of sauce featuring apple cider vineger, white vineger, balsamic vineger, sourwood honey, smoked paprika, dash of truffle oil, pinch of cinnamon, fresh ground pepper, granulated garlic, a pinch of chipotle, and tomato sauce. Think that was it, just something I do to taste these days. Used this, and the juices from the pork shoulder, to baste periodically. Used lots and lots of hickory chunks, along with applewood chips and a small amount of mesquite chunks. Just finished pulling it, and got about 7 good individual servings of very tasty pork. Watching the snow fall, I am very glad I cooked yesterday...

who notes that BBQ is not grilling, but cooking long on low heat with high smoke...

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February 06, 2006

Thank You Tippy!

The treats are much appreciated.

Hagel Slag, it's not just for breakfast anymore.


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December 18, 2005

Recipe: Powers Pepper Jelly

Pepper Jelly has been an important part of Christmas for as long as I can remember. In the summer, Dad raised bell pepper and hot peppers in our garden, and come the fall he (and later we) would make pepper jelly -- usually two or three cases of it -- to give at Christmas. To say that family and friends looked forward to it is an understatement, and so did we. It was not unusual for Dad and myself to polish off a jar (along with a block of cream cheese and most of a box of Ritz crackers) "testing" it to be sure it was good.

Dad's recipe has been semi-guarded for some time, but I have decided that now is the time to share it with the world lest it be lost. One of the things that has helped make this year a good Christmas for me is that I grew hot peppers (the drought was not kind to the bell peppers) and made a batch and have shared it with family and friends. It is good to continue some traditions, and so I share this one with you.

Large pot
Cutting Board
Food gloves
Large pourable container
Strainers (I use at least two, one medium one fine)
Jelly Jars
Measuring cup
additional container
Jar funnel

1 cup finely chopped hot peppers
1 cup finely chopped bell peppers
13 cups white sugar
3 cups apple cider vinegar (use only real!)
Green food colouring
1 box Certo

Dad used, and I use, a mix of hot peppers. Usually about half a cup are home-grown jalapenos and the other half are home-grown small Thai peppers. This year, I used home-grown Thai, jalapeno, habanero, and one home-smoked jalapeno. It is not necessarily the heat, but the flavors that count. That is also why you need to be sure to use real apple cider vinegar and not the artificially flavored stuff that so many places try to pawn off. Always read the label...

Trust me: use food gloves while handling and chopping the hot peppers...

Prepare jelly jars and lids per directions. I run my jars through the dishwasher with heat-dry on, and it is an excellent sterilizer.

Put all ingredients except Certo into a large saucepan/stockpot. Bring to a rolling boil, cut off the stove, and let cool for 10 minutes. Strain into pourable container, add about three drops of food colouring and the packets of Certo. Stir well without adding a lot of air, then pour into the jelly jars. A uniform green colour lets you know that everything is well mixed. There is usually a bit left over, so pour into spare container to let set and serve as your "proof" batch for taste-testing. Seal. Dad could always get them to seal as is, but I never have so I bring a canner to the boil and can for about 10 minutes.



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October 19, 2005

A Guide To Making Coffee

Courtesy of Harvey comes this post on the making of good coffee. Add it to this post from BloodSpite on coffee and I think we are off to a good start.

My only disagreement with the first article is on beans. Beans do count, but he is right that we don't always get the good beans. It is fun to try different and new beans, and I have found that a good way to do so is to find an independent coffee place, especially one that does its own roasting. Such people are usually fanatical enough to do the work necessary to get good beans, and then do them right. As real coffee spreads, even grocery megastores are starting to get smart on the matter. Take the time and explore, because good coffee should be as rich and complex in taste as a good wine or single malt.

That reminds me, time to go get some good coffee...


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September 05, 2005

A Near-Perfect BLT

Tuscan bread, hand sliced by you; mayo; fresh lettuce; a tomato that five minutes ago it was barely on the vine it was so ripe; a little salt and pepper on the tomato; and, bacon from Father's Country Hams. Juicy, tasty, delicious. What made it even better was remembering special people and special times with similar feasts.

Enjoy the day.


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July 20, 2005

All Is Now Right With My World

My current favorite coffee is back. There is a coffee shop in Lafayette called Murky Waters, and besides being just a neat little place they also happen to have a coffee blend called Foglifter. I had tried several different coffees when I moved up here, but Foglifter is one of the best coffees I've had anywhere in the world. Rich, lots of flavor, and not bitter even as strong as I brew it (6 scoops to a 10 cup pot, maybe a bit more).

A couple of weeks ago, I was running out at home and at work so dropped by to get more. Murky Waters was closed, and I was not sure it would reopen. I was not a happy wolf. Some checking revealed that it had been sold, but being the cautious type that I am, I also was sending messages out that I would buy all the Foglifter left in the store.

Great News: Murky Waters is back open with a new owner, a number of improvements, and the same great selection of good coffees and teas. They have plans, neat plans, and I wish them well. Work now has a fresh pound of ground, The Lair now has a fresh pound of ground, and I am putting away a pound of whole bean Foglifter as well.

If you are in the area, give them a try. Don't forget the homemade biscotti and other treats as well. Recommended.


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May 17, 2005

Carnival of the Recipes

Despite my best intentions, I did not get a recipe in nor have I linked until now to the Carnival at the Delightful and Delectable Boudicca's Voice. Lots of tasty stuff there. Nor was this the only Carnival she has hosted, so check out her rendition of the Karnival of the Kidz. Two carnivals in less than a week? She is a glutton for punishment, and a not-so-closet masochist to boot...


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May 09, 2005

Carnival Of The Recipes Is Up

Actually, it has been up as the Pascha Basket Edition hosted by Techno Gypsy. Want to know what a Pascha Basket is? Then get on over, tovarish, and enjoy all the good food!


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May 02, 2005

Carnival Of The Recipes

Thesis-In-Progress Edition no less, is up and hosted by the enchanting and matriculating CalTechGirl. I have been most remiss of late in posting both recipes and the Carnival, so am glad to take this opportunity to fix at least one part of that. Go enjoy a lot of tasty treats!


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April 07, 2005

Recipe: Roast Lamb

I have been most remiss lately in posting for the Carnival of the Recipes. To make up for that, here is a tasty treat I just did on the new grill/smoker:

Aluminium foil
Cutting board
Smoke chips/blocks

Boneless leg of lamb
Olive oil
Truffle oil (optional)
Fresh rosemary
Fresh ground pepper

Start hardwood charcoal in the grill on one side. Put the leg of lamb out on the cutting board and trim as needed. Using the knife, make slits in the meat and insert peeled cloves of garlic into the meat. Coat the meet in olive and other oils as desired, sprinkle with pepper, and place fresh rosemary on top. Wrap the lamb in aluminium foil and place on the cool side of the grill, dumping and spreading coals on the other side. Place chips, and replenish hardwood charcoal and chips as needed. Cook until the center of the roast reaches 140 degrees. Let stand at least 15 minutes, then serve.



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March 12, 2005

Carnival Of The Recipes Is Up!

The 30th rendition of epicurian delights is up, hosted this week by Pamibe. By the end of today, think I may be ready for triticale's Whiskey Mango Foxtrot. Love that name, and the drink sounds good too.


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March 09, 2005

Recipe: Bella Burgers

I got started doing these a while back with the vegetarian ex, and have continued to refine them because, frankly, they taste good. Here is the current iteration, served to the usual victims out at Wolf Park last week.

Grill or Skillet and Oven
Bowl, small
Half pan or sheet pan for oven (if needed)
Cutting board

1-6 large portabella mushroom caps
Olive oil
Bacon drippings
Kosher salt
Pepper, fresh ground
Balsamic vinegar
Real Mozzarella cheese
Smoked real Mozzarella cheese (optional)
Truffle oil (optional)
Whole wheat extra-large hamburger buns

Clean mushroom caps as needed and remove stem. Fine chop fresh garlic, and fine chop any fresh herbs -- it is okay to use dried on these. Slice fresh/real Mozzarella so that you have enough to cover the inside of each cap. Mix together olive oil, bacon drippings (melted if need be), garlic, dill, pepper, and a pinch of salt. Brush mixture onto mushroom caps and then grill face down for a bit, then flip and brush on a dab more of the oil/spice mixture. Drizzle a little bit of Balsamic vinegar into the caps, then place cheese to cover. Cook until cheese melts, then serve on whole wheat extra-large hamburger buns. If you don't have a grill, cook in skillet cap side down, then flip and cook a bit longer. If cooking multiple, slip onto a baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees until the cheese is melted. On the latest batch, I used both regular and smoked real Mozzarella and it was very tasty.



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March 05, 2005

Carnival Of The Recipes Is Up

Darn the IRS and real-world issues, because they kept me from taking part this week. Not sure that I am going to enter my latest creation (a stir fry), but will at least try to get something in next week. Not that they really need it, judging by this week's entries as Rocket Jones once again hosts, this time with a literary theme well done! Drat, now I'm hungry again...


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February 25, 2005

Carnival Of The Recipes Is Up!

This 28th (!!) Carnival is up at Rocket Jones, where the entries will not merely put you in orbit, but send you off into deep space. Go enjoy, and I've already noted a couple I want to try.


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February 24, 2005

Recipe: Orange Chicken

Here is something I dreamed up a bit over a week ago, and made for the dinner last Friday. Some of the measurements are very approximate, as I was winging it.

covered container large enough to hold whole chicken
cutting board
roasting pan

1 whole chicken
.5 to 1 gallon orange juice
Basmati rice
mushrooms, assorted types
olive oil
honey (sourwood if available)
2 bulbs garlic
slivered almonds
.25 to .5 cup frozen/fresh green peas
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
truffle oil (optional)

The night before you want to cook the chicken, place it in the container, pour in orange juice to completely submerge, put on cover, and put in refrigerator. Roast the garlic bulbs whole, unpeeled. Easy method is to put bulbs on aluminum foil, coat with olive oil, wrap well in the aluminum foil, and put in toaster over at app. 350 degrees for a few hours. You can also go ahead and prepare 1 cup of dry Basmati rice per directions, store in refrigerator. I used white truffle oil in the rice.

Before cooking, clean, slice or chunk, and saute mushrooms in olive oil and butter. Add some of the mushrooms to the rice, along with slivered almonds (anywhere from a few to .5 cup) and peas. Cut tops of roasted garlic bulbs and squeeze roasted garlic into the mixture. Add pinch of salt and some fresh ground pepper. Use this to stuff the chicken. Pull the chicken from the orange juice, stuff, and place in roasting pan.

Combine app. 1 cup of honey with .5 cup of the Grand Mariner and 1t - 3T of good chipotle powder. Mix well, and brush this on the chicken. Cover, and cook for one hour at 350 degrees. Uncover, brush more mixture on (or pull up from bottom of roasting pan and baste), and cook app. one more hour until temperature at the center of the chicken/stuffing is at least 160 degrees, basting often.

An interesting option is to put loads of slivered almond in the bottom of the roasting pan, and let them cook in the juices and glaze.



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February 18, 2005

Carnival Of The Recipes Is Up!

Hosted this week at Inside Allan's Mind, this award-fest is full of winners. Go check them out, and enjoy the feast!


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Quick And Dirty Miso Soup

One of my favorite comfort foods is Miso soup. You can get very elaborate with it, or do this version for miso in a hurry.

Two large pots
Fine mesh strainer
Cutting Board

5 small packages dried bonito flakes (or one large)
1 container firm tofu
1 small to medium package light miso
Green onions

Put about a gallon of water in a large pot, and turn heat to high. Open package of tofu, and cut into .25- to .5-inch cubes. Throw in all the fish flakes to the hot liquid in the pot. When the flakes settle to the bottom of the liquid, pour through strainer into second pot. Return clear fish broth to heat, add in package of miso, and diced tofu. Let simmer for an hour or two (or even just for a few minutes). Fine chop green onions and add them to the mix. Serve hot. Enjoy!


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February 04, 2005

Carnival of the Recipes Is Up!

Hosted this week at The Glittering Eye. There are lots of tasty treats there, and I may have to try the Lamb and Red Lentil Curry real soon. So, go on over and check out all the tasty goodness.


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Linda's One Pot Cube Steak Meal

I previously did Linda's Cube Steak as a Carnival entry, courtesy of KiltBaby and Mr. C. They introduced me to this wonderful dish, but last night I decided to see if I could make a good one-pot meal out of it. Here is what I did:

Large crockpot
cutting board

Cube steak
1 family size can cream of mushroom soup
1 regular can cream of mushroom soup
1 container beef broth
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
smoked paprika (optional)
vegetable oil
white truffle oil (optional)
8 oz. fresh or frozen lima beans
8 oz. fresh or frozen green peas

To prepare, place large can of cream of mushroom soup and beef broth in crock pot, cut to high. Add in peas and beans. Place flour, salt (small amount), fresh ground pepper, and smoked paprika (and other spices as desired) in bag, mix well. Flour cube steaks. Heat skillet with oil and truffle oil, then sear the cube steaks and place in crock pot. Place in mushrooms and more mushrooms, and then small can of cream of mushroom soup for final cover. Let cook at least 8 hours.



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January 31, 2005

A Good End To The Week

And I hope it bodes very well for the start of the week. I was invited Sunday to dine with a select group and enjoyed it very, very much. Because of the schedule for today, which also means I may not be posting much today or tomorrow, I had to leave before the movie started. To ease my pain at such, I was treated to the Llama song and the Badger song before I left. Dinner was delicious, with a venison balti (a tomato curry and prepared by a Donnachaidh kinsman, good cooking really does seem to run in the family) and homemade vegetarian lasagna, along with other treats and sweets. A great way to end a week, and to start any week that comes.

I also want to thank Mr. C and Kiltbaby for the pioneer porridge, which was good -- esp. with a runny fried egg on top and cheese added to the porridge. Very tasty!

More soon, I hope.


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January 30, 2005

Carnival Of The Recipes Is Up!

Kin's Kouch has a manly take on cooking this week. Lots of good stuff there, plenty to try and enjoy, so go on over and start digging in.


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January 28, 2005

Clay Pot Chicken

This week's recipe is easy to do, all you need is a clay pot or a clay pot cooker.

Clay pot/clay pot cooker
Cutting Board
Oven, set to 250

3 chicken breasts or one whole chicken
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
Smoked paprika
40-50 cloves of garlic
.25 to.5 large onion, chopped
Goose Island Hex Nut Brown Ale (optional)

To Prepare:
Preheat over to 250 degrees. Chop onion and place in bottom of clay pot. Smash garlic cloves, remove paper, and place cleaned cloves in bottom of pot. Add some beer. Take breasts/chicken and coat with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Place on top of onions and garlic, close cooker. Place in oven and cook a few hours. Enjoy.


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January 21, 2005

Carnival Of The Recipes Is Up!

Hosted this week by the always educational Caltechgirl, who teaches us the A, B, C's of cooking. Go and check it out, and I have my eye on a couple of very delicious, and warm, sounding dishes.


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January 20, 2005

Laughing Wolf Scottish-Style Meatloaf

The same box of Mornflake that spurred the cookies also caused me to make a meatloaf. Not bad, not bad at all, so here it is:

Medium to large mixing bowl
Cutting Board
Spoon/Fork for mixing
Loaf pan
Oven, 350 degrees

2 lb ground meat (I used beef and pork, lamb is good too)
3/4 cup oats
1 egg, beaten
1 cup V8, Clamato, or tomato juice
.5 large onion, chopped fine
1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed and minced fine
1 t salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
BBQ Sauce
Worschesteshire sauce, dash
Smoked paprika (optional), large pinch
Cinnamon (optional), pinch
Ground nutmeg (optional), pinch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and beat one egg in mixing bowl. Add in all ingredients but the meat and BBQ sauce, and mix well. Mix in meat. Put mixture into a loaf pan, and put a very light layer of BBQ sauce on top. Bake for one hour and let stand/rest for at least five minutes before serving.



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January 14, 2005

Carnival of the Recipes Is Up!

VW over at One Happy Dog Speaks is hosting this week, and done a very nice job of it. Get on over there and check out all the delicious food that has been submitted.


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Food Pentacle

The pentacle, or pentagram, is a symbol not of evil but of protection. I mention this fact not just for educational purposes, or to stir up easy controversy, but for a more serious reason. I suspect that all such protection will be needed by your body if you follow this delightful and delicious food pentacle developed by Michele. Love the stout on there. Looks pretty solid to me...


Yes, yes, the pentagram is the five-pointed star and the pentacle is the plate or other holder of same. Given that this is a picture/drawing holding the five-pointed star, I choose to call it a pentacle.

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January 13, 2005

Laughing Wolf Oatmeal Cookies

My box of Mornflake Oatmeal had a cookie recipe on it that I modified a bit and decided to share. It is fairly easy, and the trial run was not bad at all.

Mixing Bowl or Mixer
Measuring Spoons
Dry Measure cups
Cookie sheets
Wax or parchment paper

1.5 cups room temperature butter
.5 cup light brown sugar
.33 cup dark brown sugar
1t baking soda
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1t vanilla
3 cups oats/oatflakes/oatmeal/whatever you call it
1t cinnamon
large pinch salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar, then add in egg and vanilla. Sift together flour and soda, then add salt and spices. Fold into the creamed mixture and mix well. Sir in oats and mix well. Place wax or parchment paper on cookie sheet (or grease sheet if you like), then put mixture on sheet by rounded tablespoons on sheet. The original directions said to bake for 8-10 minutes, but I suggest start checking at 8 and keep an eye on them. The less baking time, the chewier the cookie, the longer the crisper. Mine may have been a little larger than normal, so that did affect my cooking time. Let cookies cool completely, then store in a covered container like a cookie jar. Enjoy.


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January 09, 2005

What A Way To Start The Day

I have just finished breakfast, and, yes, it is almost 1100 hours local. I got a very late start to the day, sleeping in until 0800. Since I forgot to run the dishwasher last night, I had -- just had -- to run it this morning and while it was running catch up on some blog reading a bit. Also, I had slow cooking some wonderful stuff.

Kiltbaby and Mr. C (and Clara and Clara's Boy) sent me a much appreciated care package from the South that included yellow speckled heart grits from Nora Mill. Note to those not from the South, if the speckles move, they are not real speckled heart grits and should be thrown out immediately. To prevent such, I both vacuum seal and freeze my grits, meal, etc. There is a difference between yellow and white, and I need to do some fresh research on that one day here soon to share. Yes, that is my story and I am sticking with it. Thank you again my friends!

The grits were joined by a fried egg (over easy is best with grits, IMO) seasoned with just a bit of chipotle, and some of the good bacon I get. A pot of Russian Caravan Tea completed the scene, and I am now a very happy wolf. Lots to do today, but am going to take a few more minutes to enjoy a wonderful morning that follows a great night.


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January 08, 2005

Carnival Of The Recipes Is Up!

Hosted this week by the Physics Geek, there are a lot of tasty treats there. I failed to take part (bad wolf!) but plan to reap the rewards anyway by checking out all that I can of the delights that were submitted. Go on over there, and try some yourself -- you will be glad you did!


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December 31, 2004

Carnival Of The Recipes Is Up!

This week's Carnival of the Recipes is up, hosted by Prochein Amy. Go on over there, take part in the name game, and then enjoy some fine eating as you try the recipes. Thanks to Amy, and to all who make this possible!


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December 30, 2004

Carnival Of The Recipes: Laughing Wolf�s Puttanesca Sauce

Yes, if you understand Italian (or Latin), that is what you think it is. I first heard of this sauce on a cooking show called The Urban Peasant that has, alas, disappeared from U.S. airwaves. His mantra of make do with what you�ve got is a good one to go by.

Follow The Scent! »
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December 24, 2004

Carnival Of The Recipes Is Up!

This week it is hosted by Food Basics, and I must say I LOVE the first part of that URL. Go check out all the yummy food and ideas, and enjoy!


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December 23, 2004

Carnival Of The Recipes: Oatmeal

Most Americans have never had real oatmeal. If all you have ever had were the instant or five-minute kind, then you have never had real oatmeal (same holds true for grits). The real stuff is flavorful, has some texture, and is very good for you. It is also easy to fix, and can even cook as you sleep.

First off, find some good non-instant oatmeal. My personal preference is for Scott Porridge Oats or Mornflake, which can be found in shops around the country. Second, sit back and relax. Cooking good oatmeal is like penetrating enemy airspace: take it low and slow.

I follow the directions on the package in terms of quantities, but cook it as low and as long as circumstances allow. Alton Brown of Good Eats suggests using a crockpot and doing it overnight, which if you are cooking for more than one is not a bad idea. The longer it cooks, the better it will taste and the more of the fiber gets into play � or so they say. I can and will vouch for the former part.

My other suggestions are: 1. Don�t add salt until almost ready to serve; 2. For richness, put in a small amount of real butter; 3. For really rich taste, use milk as part of the liquid; 4. For really true richness, put cream on top as you serve; and, 5. Add some good cinnamon to it right before serving.

To be honest, I usually just eat it out of the pan with cinnamon and a small pinch of kosher salt. It is quite tasty, hot, and filling. Not a bad way to start a cold winter�s day.


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Foods To Eat Before You Die

Jay has up a post on foods to eat before you die. I agree with him that the list is rather eclectic and odd, but out of the list the only things I have not tried are:

Moreton Bay Bugs (???)
Guinea Pig (last on the list for me)
Paella (not a real one at any rate)
Reindeer (think I had it in Scandanavia, but not sure, long time ago)
Australian meat pie (again, not a real one)
Durian Fruit
Tapas (yet again, not real in my book)

As for my list, I am going to have to think on that a bit. There are so many, and I may do two: one of broad categories and one of specifics. Hmmmmmmm.


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December 11, 2004

Carnival Of The Recipes Is Up!

Marybeth was crazy enough has been gracious enough to once again host the Carnival of the Recipes. Once again, circumstances prevented my taking part, but there are lots of treats there just begging to be tried. The Liquid Midol sounds very good, even though PMS is not an issue for me. Go check it out, and enjoy the bounty that comes your way each week from this effort.


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December 04, 2004

Carnival Is Up!

For something solid o go with the food for thought for the day, get on over to Fresh As A Daisy for the latest Carnival of the Recipes. As always, there are lots of delicious things to try, so head on over.


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November 26, 2004

Carnival Of The Recipes Is Up!

This week's Carnival, hosted by Marybeth of Random Thoughts From Marybeth, is up! Go check out a lot of delicious ideas, including a few on how to deal with Thanksgiving leftovers!


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Candied Sweet Potato

Okay, since it was just myself and Clara yesterday (not going to count the other cat I agreed to look after), I cheated and did very little cooking. The one thing I did is a favorite of mine, and I thought I would share the basics of how to candy a yam/sweet potato.

Good skillet with lid
Cutting Board

Sweet Potatoes/Yams
Light or dark brown sugar
Kosher salt
Ground cinnamon
Ground nutmeg (fresh is best)
Ground clove

To Prepare
Peel potatoes and slice into chunks about .75 of an inch. Place in skillet with a pinch of salt and cover with water and 1T of butter. Simmer until tender. Drain water off, place back on heat, and once any remaining water has steamed off, reduce heat to LOW and place in 1-3 sticks of butter. As it is melting, add in lots of brown sugar and let it melt with the butter. Add in a generous amount of good cinnamon (I used several pinches), and a very small pinch each of ground clove and ground nutmeg. Add in roasted nuts (or not, up to you) and stir semi-often. Keep warm on very low heat until all is melted, gooey, rich, and ready to serve.

Rules of thumb: 1 stick of butter for every two potatoes. .25-.5 cup of sugar per potato. Nuts are up to you.

Option: Add a little heavy cream once the heat is OFF and make the sugar/butter mixture into a caramel.

NOTE: Do I really have to mention that you need to taste often and adjust spices including salt accordingly?



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November 24, 2004

Carnival of the Recipes

This week�s entry is a complete meal, with my cousin throwing in his recipe for pumpkin cheesecake. For the record, he makes outstanding cheesecakes of all types, and we do benefit from them. All except our waistlines�

Entr�e is Tilapia in Tilapia Cream Sauce, sides are peas and roast garlic and cheddar cheese mashed potatoes, and we finish with the pumpkin cheesecake.

Follow The Scent! »
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November 23, 2004

Haggis O�Tastee

What to do with five pounds of leftover haggis? Well, one thing to do is a breakfast treat of Haggis O�Tastee. Nope, no Mac in there as those overly litigious children of unwed mothers with doubtful parentage, poor hygiene, and dubious social habits who have tried to claim every variant of Mac there is for food I try hard to avoid would sue me. I would not be surprised if they did anyway for simply saying Mac in any context involving food. Go kill Kenny again you Stinky MacAnuses.

Ah well, back to the topic at hand: haggis and what to do with it. This morning, I converted some of it into patties, fried them up, and put them on a toasted English muffin along with some black-rind cheddar cheese. Not bad, not bad at all. Tomorrow or Thursday morning I plan to add some smoked paprika, maybe some other spices to it to kick it a bit, and try that with some egg this time. Will let you know how it goes.


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November 20, 2004

Carnival Of The Recipes Is Up!

And it is another great one, this week hosted by Boudicca's Voice. Go check it out, and enjoy some good food, and even some good comfort food.


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November 18, 2004

Carnival Of The Recipes

Here is today�s entry, and next week�s entry may be the seared tilapia with tilapia cream sauce (and crowder peas; green bean & black-eyed pea mix; and roast garlic and cheddar mashed Yukon Gold potatoes) if it works out. For today, here is:

Linda�s Cube Steak


Cube steak
Cream of mushroom soup
Beef stock
Kosher salt
Oil and/or butter
Other spices as desired

To prepare, season some flour in a bag, place cube steaks in, and coat. Sear the cube steaks in the skillet with oil or an oil and butter mixture. Place cube steaks in crock pot, cover generously with cream of mushroom soup, beef stock, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer all day. It will be flavorful and fork tender at the finish.

My thanks to my cousins for sharing the recipe with me, as it completely changed my view of cube steak. Growing up, let�s just say that cube steak was not my mother�s finest hour. Nor about anyone else�s I knew. This was good, and I am going to be rethinking my stand on cube steak as a result.


UPDATE: This week's Carnival is being hosted by the delightful Boudicca of Boudicca's Voice. If you are a blogger, send her a link to your entry at recipe dot carnival at gmail dot com. If you are not a blogger, but want to participate, send the entire entry to her at the same address. The more that play, the more we all win, so get those entries on in.

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A Good Flavored Coffee

Okay, I am not normally all that into flavored coffees other than my fancy mocha. Yesterday, however, was a day in which I splurged and got some coffee to try from The Fresh Market. Now having tried the Death By Chocolate coffee, all I can say is wow. Stealing a bit from the movie Airplane, normally I like my coffee like I like my women, strong and black. This chocolate coffee, however, needs real cream -- but when you use it it kicks the flavor out of the park. Given how good that was, I can't wait to try the Almond Amaretto flavor, with and without the cream.


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November 13, 2004

The Carnival Is Up!

Well, it qualifies as good news in my book! This week's Carnival of the Recipes is up at The Common Virtue so go check it out.


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November 12, 2004

Tuna Glop

Okay, it�s late, you are in a hurry, or just a broke student like I was the first time I made this. Here is a quick and dirty dish with just a little extra oomph, for not much dough.

Cutting Board

1 package store bought mac & cheese
1 can/package tuna
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Real cheese, sharp, medium, Colby, whatever
Salsa Brava or hot sauce of your choice
1 package instant onion soup mix

Make mac & cheese to directions. Add in real cheese, soup, tuna, and onion soup mix. Add in Salsa Brava or hot sauce to taste (I find a tablespoon or more helps). Enjoy.

OPTION: I used to add English peas to this, and it was quite good. You can use canned (small) English, lima/butterbeans, or other such and add veggie goodness as well as some colour and texture. Add at the start of boiling the mac if using fresh.


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November 05, 2004

Carnival Of The Recipes Is Up!

Go on over to The Glittering Eye to check out loads of good food ideas. Check it out!


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November 04, 2004

Carnival of the Recipes

Here are a few quick entries for this week�s carnival. Enjoy!

Herb Poached Cod

Cutting board
Aluminum Foil
Grill or Oven

Fillet of Cod
Fresh tarragon, dill, cilantro
White wine
Salt, pepper

On a sheet of foil, lay down a bed of herbs in the shape of the fillet. Place fillet on herbs, pour in small amount of white wine, season with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, and seal foil packet. Roast until done.

Herb Poached Salmon

Cutting board
Aluminum Foil
Grill or Oven

Fillet of Salmon
Fresh dill
White wine
Salt, pepper

On a sheet of foil, lay down a bed of fresh dill in the shape of the fillet. Place fillet on dill, pour in small amount of white wine, season with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, and place pats of butter on top of the salmon. Seal foil packet and roast until done.

Dill-Butter Salmon

Cutting board
Grill or Oven

Whole Salmon
Fresh dill, lots
Butter, lots
Salt, pepper

Take about a pound of butter, soften. Chop up lots and lots of fresh dill. Combine chopped dill with softened butter. Fill inside of whole salmon with majority of the dilled butter, smear some of what remains over the outside. Grill, low to medium, and replenish butter as needed until salmon is done. Enjoy.


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October 29, 2004

Carnival Of The Recipes #11 Is Up!

Go to Mountaineer Musings for a lot of tasty treats. Thanks to SarahK for hosting this week. Well, what are you waiting for, go check it out.


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Carnival Of The Recipes

Here is this week's entry in the Carnival, hope you enjoy it.

Southwestern Truffled Chicken

Cutting board
Aluminum foil
Grill or Oven

Whole chicken
Shitake mushrooms
Crimini mushrooms
Oyster mushrooms (optional)
Other mushrooms (optional)
White truffle oil
Black truffle powder
oil or butter


Cut mushrooms into strips/slices, and toss with a small amount of truffle oil. Stuff inside chicken. Coat the outside with a light amount of oil/butter, then hit with salt, pepper, pinch of chipotle (or more to your taste), and some truffle powder. Wrap tightly in foil and either cook on the grill for several hours or roast for several hours at low heat (200-250) until fall-apart tender. Enjoy.


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October 22, 2004

Carnival of the Recipes #10

Is up at Inside Allan's Mind. Lots of tasty treats this week, as usual, so go on over and check out all the entries.


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October 21, 2004

Carnival of the Recipes

Two dishes again this week, Asian-style chicken and Scotch Eggs, hope you enjoy.

Asian-style chicken

Grill or oven
Roasting pan if using oven
Aluminum foil
Cutting board

Whole chicken
Fresh parsley, cilantro, ginger, thyme, rosemary, lemon grass, other herbs
Ponzu sauce (Oriental citrus sauce, med. bottle)
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
Sesame oil
Olive Oil

Peel and slice ginger, and wash/clean herbs as needed. Herbs should be your choice, but be sure to include some Oriental herbs. Place chicken breast down on large sheet of aluminum foil and begin folding foil so that it will hold liquids. Coat chicken inside and out with olive oil or butter (or both better yet). Stuff herbs and 3/4 of the ginger inside the chicken. Pour Ponzu sauce into chicken, up to half the bottle. Pour a few tablespoons worth of sesame oil over chicken, place remaining ginger on top of/around chicken, and pour in more Ponzu sauce as well. Add some salt and pepper. Seal foil tight and grill over medium for several hours (or roast at 250 for a few hours) until an internal temp of app. 180 is reached. The slower the cooking, the better the result which should pretty much fall apart. Enjoy.

Scotch Eggs

Deep pot
Deep fryer or equivalent pan you would use to fry chicken or such
Deep bowl
3 medium bowls
Cutting board
Tongs or slotted spoon
Food service gloves

Dozen fresh eggs
5 lbs sausage mixture
1/4 cup plain flour
Pancko or plain bread crumbs
2 eggs
Other spices/options as desired

Hard boil a dozen eggs in the deep pot and allow to cool, heck get them very cool. Peel and dry the eggs, set aside. Fine chop 2-4 T parsley and 1-3 T chives. Place 2-3 packages of sausage into a deep bowl, then sprinkle herbs and any additional items (I put a pinch of cinnamon, 3 drops white truffle oil, and either smoked paprika or chipotle in at a minimum with store-bought sausage), then put remaining sausage over. Using gloves, mix well. Place flour in one medium bowl; whip the two eggs into an egg wash in another; and, place crumbs in remaining bowl. Bring oil up to temperature. Take a hardboiled egg, dust lightly with flour to be sure it is dry (do NOT get a thick coat of flour), and then coat it in .25- to .5-inch of sausage mixture all the way around. Dip in egg wash to coat, then dip in crumbs to coat. Deep fry the egg until golden brown. Those adamant against frying can bake, and with thicker sausage coats it is good to cook the eggs in an oven at 300 to ensure that the mixture is cooked through. To serve, cut long-ways into 1/4s and present with HP Sauce. Do not eat before visiting the doctor or getting a cholesterol screening.

Tips: I do about 4 eggs at a time (depends on fryer), and it can be a good idea to cool the sausage-coated eggs so that they retain shape better. A kinsman added sharp cheddar cheese to the mixture and it was quite tasty (would have been even better with some minced jalapeno in there). Remember to turn the eggs partway through cooking so as to cook evenly. Enjoy.


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October 15, 2004

Carnival Of The Recipes #8

This week�s entry is a bit more yet again, but it should be fun. All were field tested Thursday night at my cousin�s house.

Lemon Garlic Chicken

Cutting board
Aluminum foil
Grill or roasting pan and oven

Chicken, whole
4-5 bulbs of garlic
2-3 lemons
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
Olive oil

Coarse peel the cloves in the bulbs of garlic and zest two of the lemons. Cut the lemons into slices.

Rub softened butter over and inside the chicken, season the inside with salt and pepper, then stuff as many cloves of garlic, along with a few slices of lemon, into the chicken. Season the exterior with salt and pepper (smoked sweet paprika was quite tasty as well), then cover with lemon zest, lemon slices, and garlic. Wrap and foil and place on the cool side of a grill and roast for a few hours until done and all the garlic cooked.

While you have the grill going, soak a few ears of corn in water for 30 minutes to 1 hour, then let the corn roast with the chicken on the grill. Do NOT remove any leaves, etc., soak it all as you get it and let it roast that way.

For dessert, Laughing Wolf Almond Shortbread:

Pastry or Cutting Board
Deep bowl
Backing sheet or baking stone
Oven, pre-heated to 300 degrees F

Good brand of pure almond extract
1 cup softened European-style butter
.5 to .9 cup confectioners sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
pinch kosher salt
1 egg yolk
1T heavy cream
sliced or slivered almonds, lightly toasted if you have the time

Put softened butter in bowl and gradually add confectioners sugar and cream with fork until fluffy. Add in almond extract to taste (1/8 t to 1 t), cream again. Gradually add in flour and salt until well blended. Then add in egg yolk and cream, and work until it forms a ball. Turn ball out onto lightly floured cutting board/pastry board and work into a rectangle .25- to .5-inches thick. Cut into rectangles (or cut rounds or whatever turns you on) and place on ungreased baking sheet about .5-inches apart. Bake until pale gold and firm to the touch. Use spatula to remove from sheet and allow to cool, if you can stand to keep your hands off of them.



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October 08, 2004

Carnival Of The Recipes

This is going to be a bit different, since it is an entire meal and one just done Thursday night for my cousins.

UPDATE: The Carnival is up at Fresh as a Daisy! Lots of tasty stuff there, so go check it out.

Follow The Scent! »
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October 04, 2004

Carnival Of The Recipes

Being on the road, I missed getting to post Carnival of the Recipes #7. It is well worth checking out, and my thanks to another lupine, Food Basics.


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September 29, 2004

Carnival Of The Recipes #7

Okay, this is not really a dish recipe, but two tips for cooking.

First, do you want your steaks and such to come out more like high-end restaurant steaks? When you cut the steak (or bring it home from the store), put it in a resealable bag along with extra-virgin olive oil, fresh chopped garlic, and fresh rosemary. Let it sit at least overnight, 24-hours is better, then cook. Do not salt the meat until it is done.

Second, want to add flavor to boiled things? You always hear about using beer and such to boil hot dogs and other delights. If you want to add some zing to hot dogs, pasta, or anything else you cook/heat by boiling without using beer or alcohol, consider adding some real (not artificial) apple cider vinegar (or balsamic) and spices to the mix. The vinegar adds zing, and the spices can add a great deal of flavor as well. There is nothing that says boiled must be bland. Season the water.

Oh, what the heck. Here is a link to my Chocolate Ecstasy Cake, sometimes called Exxxtasy Cake. Enjoy.


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September 24, 2004

Carnival of the Recipes #6

Is up! Go check out a lot of tasty things, and an interesting site to boot.


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September 23, 2004

Carnival Of The Recipes: Wurst Delight

Okay, I really don�t remember the proper name for this, but I had it in Austria last week and loved it.

Cutting board

Wurst or long hot dogs

Start by taking the wurst, come in a bit from the end, cut down, and then along the wurst until you reach the corresponding point at the other end. What you are doing is instead of cutting it in half, you are sort of carving it out into a canoe shape. Cut the cheese to fit the wurst, put in place, then put the carved out portion of the wurst back on top of the cheese. Wrap in bacon so that bacon covers and holds everything in place. Cook. Serve with mustard, potatoes, and such.


This week's Carnival is bieng hosted by Mellow-Drama, so go check it out!

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September 21, 2004

What I Miss This Morning

Well, I have a pot of my favorite Fireside Blend made and may try something different tomorrow to see if I can get closer to what I had in Austria. Strong but not bitter. Meantime, I remember quite fondly:

As good as that is, I think this was even better:

Better yet:

And best yet, at the Cafe Sacher for Saturday morning breakfast:

Yes, that is a slice of real Sacher Torte with one of my favorite coffees. Nope, not a standard breakfast even on this trip (usually meat and cheese), but oh so good. Probably a very good thing that I was walking five miles or so each day.


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September 08, 2004

Carnival Of The Recipes

Okay, this week's entry in the Carnival of the Recipes is going to be a two-fer again, since I may not be able to take part next week. As a treat to Teresa, one of this week's entries is again mushrooms. I just did these over at my cousin's, and they turned out okay. So, here we go:

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August 22, 2004

Decisions, Decisions

Okay, do I go ahead and cook the white eggplant in bacon grease, or do it in the somewhat healthier olive oil and butter? Hmmmm. Wonder how bacon and garlic will get along...


UPDATE: Despite the recalcitrant alleged cooktop, I can report that garlic goes very well with bacon grease. I rough chopped a couple of cloves of garlic and added it to the cool grease, then cut the heat to low. Added in a small amount of smoked sweet paprika to the oil, along with some fresh ground pepper. Peeled and sliced the eggplant, then kicked the heat up a bit. Problem: this place was not designed for more than microwave popcorn, so had problems with heat and such that caused the first batch to soak up too much oil. Figured a way around that then did the second batch with the other option in mind. Pulled it off still a bit undercooked, and by the time I finished up other things it was nigh unto perfect: the surface was quite tasty and the spices and bacon grease had fused to pull out the sweet natural flavor of the eggplant. I think I just had lunch, as the second batch is gone. Am going to try to rescue the first batch in a few, but as for the second batch-- wow. Think if I have the chance, would love to grill white eggplant as I think it would do wonderfully.

UPDATE II: Forgot to mention that there is so much salt in bacon grease you do NOT need to add more.

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Frell The Carbs!

It seems only appropriate to devote some time to food this morning. Right now, I sit with smoke detector off and really good bacon cooking on the excuse for a stove in the temporary lair. Later, I will be cooking the white eggplant, Silver Queen Corn, and other delights I picked up yesterday at the farm stand, and I am enjoying some sourdough cheddar bread made near the stand as well.

This also seems a good time to link back to the final Carnival post and suggest that you get a bib before perusing the recipes.

Back to cooking.


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August 20, 2004

Carnival Of The Recipes

Well, here is my entry in the Carnival of the Recipes.

One Egg Omelet

6-8" non stick skillet (i.e. small)
appropriate spatula
small bowl

1 egg
shredded cheese
smoked paprika or chipotle


Break egg into bowl and whip with fork. Add small amount of smoked paprika or chipotle (or smoked spice of your choice) to taste. Whip some more. Set aside.

Place small amount of butter in bottom of skillet, place skillet on stove, cut on medium low heat. Pour in egg mixture. Place shredded cheese in layer on top of egg mixture. Step away and do not touch it until it puffs up and the cheese is melted and toasting. Bottom should be browned on edges and such. This will take several minutes, do not touch it during this time. When it is done, fold over in half, place on a plate, and enjoy. It will drop a bit, but will still be puffed up like an omelet, and is delicious.


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June 05, 2004

I Can�t Afford It But

The recent loss of my beloved grill in North Georgia has hit hard. That has had me in mind to get a new grill, as has the arrival of four of the nicest looking corn-fed ribeye steaks sent as an undeserved gift. I�ve had my eye on a couple of grills, and am seriously considering going ahead and getting one even if I can�t afford it. One choice is here, The other easy to find choice is the Brinkmann Smoke King Deluxe, though it is not as well built as the Char Griller. I like the idea of having both a horizontal and a vertical smoker in one unit. I can�t afford what I really want, and without access to a machine shop I can�t make it either. What do you think?


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May 18, 2004

Just To Annoy JimK At Right Thoughts

Roast Pork, Roast Pork, Roast Pork!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a quick update that mentioned roast pork, and set off the good JimK at Right Thoughts. I wanted to share a bit more, and see if I could set him off again.

I did two pork roasts while I had access to a real grill and real hardwood charcoal (and chips for smoking). The two roasts came from one chunk of meat: a whole boneless pork loin. Cut in half, it makes two good roasts. One I stuffed with an herbed goat cheese mixture, and the other was stuffed with a mixture of saut�ed fresh porcini and crimini mushrooms and jarlsberg, cave-aged emmenthaler, and another cheese. One of the roasts was coated with a rub that included cinnamon, truffle powder, smoked paprika, chipotle, and fresh cracked pepper.

Follow The Scent! »
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March 14, 2004

I Think I Now Hate Blackfive

Mainly because the man is a true sadist. He resides on one of the best cities in the world for celebrating St. Patrick�s Day, and is rubbing our nose in the fact. The more I read, the more I hate him for it. It has been my pleasure to be in Chicago for these celebrations a time or two, and I do wish I was going to be there this year.

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Eat An Animal For Peta Day

I saw this at A Small Victory, who linked to the originator Meryl Yourish here, and like the idea. It appeals to the carnivore in me, and I just found a couple of packages of Beef Wellington in the freezer that can go for this. Tomorrow, March 15, I will join the fight and eat an animal for PETA. I hope you will consider doing the same too.


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March 08, 2004

Some Thoughts On Saut�ing Mushrooms

While mine are resting, then cooling, I thought I might share some thoughts on mushrooms. I am a mushroomaholic, and have no intention of stopping, so be warned. Think in past lives I was a Russian and earlier a Hobbit, since both races have similar thoughts on mushrooms.

Tonight, I washed most of my mushrooms. Normally, I brush crimini, white, portabello, etc. Not all are set for brushing, however, so I used a two-stage soak to get rid of any dirt and debris. This can be a bad thing, because mushrooms are hydroscopic, that is they absorb water easily. For tonight, I wanted that for the saut�.

Get a large skillet, heat on medium, and add in a good chunk of butter, some regular olive oil, and maybe a pinch of dill and a clove or two of smashed and minced garlic. Let these things get to know one another, then add the woodiest mushrooms first. As they start getting towards tender, add the others in succession. You don�t want mush, but the mushroom equivalent of al dente. Because there is so much water in them, it will come out in the cooking and form a broth. Kick up to medium high heat, add salt to taste, and reduce this to almost dry. This brings out all the flavors, intensifies them, and brings everything together. If you need more cooking time, add only water. I only use wine or broth when the mushrooms are rather plain or don�t have a lot of flavor. If you have good ones, they don�t need the help.

When almost dry, or al dente, bring off the heat and serve. If not serving immediately, cover and let sit. If you are going to be freezing or storing, stop cooking before the al dente point, as thawing and re-heating will continue the cooking process. Keep in mind also that cooking will continue even after you pull the pan off the heat.

Enjoy. My delights of tonight are getting portioned, vacuum sealed, and frozen, until such time as I have food worthy of them. Those that survive, that is.


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Saute Underway, Posting Resumes Later Today

I am indeed back, and am in the process of cooking down a whole bunch of blue foot, french horn, crimini, woodear, miatake, shitake, and enoki mushrooms that I picked up fresh in Atlanta at Whole Foods, formerly Harry�s Farmer�s Market. Was a very bad wolf and blew most of this weeks food budget on mushrooms and cheese. More tomorrow, don�t want these beauties to burn�


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February 26, 2004

A Happy Wolf

My spices have arrived. Things are a bit tight around here, in fact a lot closer to desperate than I care for. Yet, there was some good luck recently that allowed me to splurge and re-supply on some spices. And get a few new ones to try.

It took three suppliers, but I now have from The Spice House premium sweet Hungarian paprika, smoked sweet Spanish paprika, smoked hot Spanish paprika, Chinese cinnamon, and Vietnamese cinnamon. I have long wanted to try the smoked paprika. From Dean and Deluca I have my black and white truffle oil restored. Yes, it is expensive but a little bit goes a long way, and my last held out for a year or so. Finally, from Da Gift Basket, I have a pound of chipotle stocked away. That should last me a while.

The really good news is that I plan to make up a batch of sausage this weekend. I do indeed plan to have fun with it.


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February 15, 2004

What Do I Drink?

This has come up a couple of times recently, and, yes, I do drink alcohol. As a hypoglycemic I am really not supposed to drink, so that does tend to enforce moderation even if I were not old enough to drink for taste rather than sensation. I enjoy a variety of things, and a lot of what I drink is based on what I am doing and/or eating. Some of my favorites are:

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February 09, 2004

Beef Rouladen

I spent part of yesterday cooking, and it turned out good enough that I thought I would share. A while back, I came across a show where someone was doing what they said was their grandmother�s recipe for beef rouladen. Think of it as a German wrap, or a beef roll-up. I like this dish, was intrigued by this variation on it, and took the time to go download the recipe. Since I could not get a couple of things as specified, foremost a particular spice mix, I decided to modify it a bit.

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February 06, 2004

Sgt. Hook Announces The Winner

And his announcement is here. A great job by all, and most especially by Sgt. Hook! I like his other idea a lot as well. Go check it out.


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February 01, 2004

Aztec Chili Review

I had planned to post this and some other things much earlier, but instead found myself spending the last three or so hours trying to clean chili out of the carpet in the car. Despite the fact that I could have sworn that pot could not move, it did and with a passion last night. So, today I have spent working, learning some unexpected limitations of the Hoover steam cleaner, and learning the limitations of the chemical agents at my disposal.

This all started yesterday morning, when I began the process of making the Aztec chili recipe submitted by an anonymous Cheesehead to the Sgt. Hook International Chili Cookoff. I had chosen the recipe because it was unclaimed at the time, and looked very interesting and different from the types to which I am accustomed. I had grocery shopped on Friday, and gotten all the ingredients, though I could not find some things exactly as specified. The brand of hot beans is not available in this area, so I substituted another brand. The store did not have golden hominy, so I substituted white knowing that there was/is a subtle flavor difference.

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January 30, 2004

Chili Contest Entries

The good Sgt. Hook is doing an online chili cookoff, and I am going to take part. To make it fun, I have decided to share three of my favorite recipes with one and all, and enter them in the contest. Here goes:

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January 23, 2004

Chili Challenge

The good Sgt. Hook has proposed a chili cookoff. What we need now is a good way to do it. Go on over, check out what he has to say, and let's do it. We will need categories as well, taste, hot, etc. Hmmmm. Have to think about this a bit.

UPDATE: Babalu Blog Is In!


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January 11, 2004

The Right Tools For The Job

The recent cooking and pot posts, and associated e-mail traffic, have caused me to sit back and think a bit. The old adage about the right tools for a job is a true one, to which we should pay attention. In this case, it boils down to what tools do I think are essential for cooking.

The first tool is easy: a mind willing to learn and to experiment. Cooking is somewhere between art and chemistry, and a desire to learn and that speck of something that makes you go �Hhhhmmm. What if I add a pinch of this or a bit of that?� is a very good thing to have.

The physical tools are also fairly straightforward, and aside from the pots need not be a major investment. Indeed, the best way to go is to build up over time as you add skills to your repertoire. As for what I would recommend at the start, here are the things I think are essential, and often travel with me.

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January 03, 2004

The Great Cooking Pot Debate

Today�s Food For Thought Saturday is literally going to be about food. Or at least in part. It got started the other day when Cardinal Puppileu actually (gasp!) opened comments for a discussion of and recommendations on some cookware.

There were many good thoughts posted, and even I weighed in a bit. While the question was over Emerilware versus All Clad, it touches on some other things that deserve consideration.

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October 13, 2003

New Mexico Red Chili Sauce

I just finished lunch, which was some fair carne adovada made with real New Mexico red chili sauce. Since I have not posted a recipe for some time now, I though I would share this with you along with a couple of discoveries/thoughts on how to use it.

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September 14, 2003

Homemade Vanilla

Yes, you can buy it in the store, but the quality can vary as can the colour. If you buy really good quality, it is a bit pricey, so why not make your own?

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Balsamic Syrup

This syrup is good on everything from tomatoes to ice cream, and can be a very handy addition around the kitchen. It is also easy to do, though it can be burnt. Use the inexpensive balsamic from the grocery story, not aged.

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August 17, 2003

801 Franklin Update

Things continue apace, and I am slowly starting to learn a few things. One good thing is that Matt is a teacher in the right way. He shares, he shows, and he leads by example. Here is a photo from the other night of him showing some of us how to do a particular salad.

Yesterday was a great day in that it was not spent peeling things and such, but doing a bit more of a step up. Matt showed me how to make pesto his way, had me make a gorgonzola spread, and turned me into the Crostini Kid by having me make 600-1000 of them. Not only was it to be a busy Saturday night, but it was also an art opening, since the restaurant also showcases artwork. They were expecting up to 300 people for that, plus the dinner crowd. So I helped the real chefs get ready by browning baguettes, making pesto, making the spread, and then working with a chef to turn plain crostini into delicious hors d�oeuvres by putting pesto on some and then putting a goat cheese and parsley mixture on top of the pesto; taking crostini with gorgonzola spread and putting a diced mushroom mixture on top of them, and helping plate, etc. Did a little bit else, and enjoyed it very much.


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August 13, 2003

Some Good News At 801 Franklin

The news is now out: 801 Franklin has just won its third consecutive Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator. It also means that the restaurant has met the basic criteria to be inspected for theDiRoNA award. Those inspections are secret, but we can hope that the restaurant is inspected and meets the high standards necessary to be selected. As of now, only two restaurants in Alabama have met all the tests.


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August 10, 2003

Sunday Recipe: Chocolate Ecstasy Cake

This is a cake I do on special occasions, both because it can be a bit pricy to do and because too much of it can be deadly. :) Enjoy.

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August 03, 2003

Sunday Recipe: Cranachan

This is a traditional Scottish dessert that is easy to make, light, and fun. You can do it as individual servings in glasses or bowls, or you can do it in a larger presentations for larger groups and pot lucks.

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My First Week At 801 Franklin

Well, my first week of work learning restaurant cooking has been intense, and intensely fun. It is all new enough that all I know for sure right now is how much more there is to learn.

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July 31, 2003

A Tasty Bit Of News

Well, tasty to me at least. Regular readers, and those who do a bit of searching, know that writing is my vocation. What some may have guessed is that cooking ranks as an avocation for me, something a bit more than just a hobby. Well, as of tonight, it is now a vocation as well.

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July 20, 2003

Pepper Sauce

Well, colour me selfish, but I am not yet ready to share the family pepper jelly recipe with the world, but what I will share is a good recipe for pepper sauce that is easy to do.

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July 13, 2003

Roast Lamb

Today�s recipe is a bit different, in that it may scare a lot of people. Lamb is good done right, and it is far easier to do than most will think. The trick is, don�t over spice and don�t over cook it. What is to come is something I did for a corporate function one time, and the net result � despite all who said no one would eat lamb � was a bone so stripped that there was nothing to give the dog.

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July 06, 2003

Food Treats

I am going to do a two-fer on food this week because these are so quick and easy to do. One is a delicious treat for those who like mushrooms, and the second is a frugal way to get the best vanilla you will ever have for cooking.

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June 29, 2003

Special Burgers

When I don�t grind my own meat, I usually get the extra-lean ground meat. The only problem with this stuff is that it does not have enough fat to cook properly, allowing things to get dry and tough. A good way around it is to do something like the following.

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Easy Pulled Pork

I just realized that I forgot to put up a recipe last week, so will do two today. Given that the Fourth is upon us, I will start with easy pulled pork.

The key to this one is my thrifty nature: I got the cut of pork shoulder that is very inexpensive because most people don�t like all the trimming required. My way, you don�t need to worry about that. :) Don�t trim, don�t do a thing to it.

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For The Fourth: Best Food

5{s doesn�t get some controversy going, nothing will. :) With the Fourth coming up fast, I though I would list what I consider to be the best in some traditional food. Note that I am a snob/purist and don�t consider anything just thrown on a grill as BBQ, for that requires real wood, slow cooking, and a few other things. Without futher ado, allow me to present:

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June 26, 2003

Food Safety Alert

Please bear with me while I get back on track. Also, allow me to share a rule of food that one breaks at one�s own peril � as I have been reminded.

With so much meat preparation being done elsewhere and shipped in to stores, it is wise to cook any ground meat you buy the day you get it. Waiting even a couple of days can become chancy. I was lucky, I pushed and things were not too bad, but it has knocked me back a bit more than I thought it had/would. So, be safe and be patient.


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June 08, 2003

Scallops In Coffins

No, I haven�t gotten militant on the mollusk population, but am getting ready to modify a very nice Scottish recipe. It apparently came to Scotland in part from soldiers and mercenaries who had served in India and the Far East. It is traditionally served in baked potatoes (tatties), but I am modifying it to a low-carb diet.

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June 05, 2003

Low-Carb Pizza

Since I know others out there have to eat low carb diets, be it for weight loss or things like diabetes and hypoglycemia, I thought I would share a quick, easy, and low-carb way to deal with pizza cravings.

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May 14, 2003

Cooking Up Sausage

One thing about the area where I was until yesterday is a delicious local sausage. It is made by a small operation where I have literally watched pigs herded in one end and sausage, ham, and such come out the other.

No, I won�t tell you their name, where they are, or anything else. I want them to remain prosperous, but local. In that way, the unique products they provide will survive with the same quality and integrity. If everyone goes for them, then that would be a likely casualty. I am selfish, deal with it.

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April 20, 2003

Kitchen Stadium Battle Is Owe-Vah!

Sunday morning, sitting here writing a very late commentary whilst munching bacon and such left over from yesterday�s Iron Chef competition/get-together. Drinking Scottish breakfast tea from the UK. Feeling pretty good with the world.

The competition reinforced my belief that good things come from all over. We used techniques and prepared dishes from around the world: American, Asian, and European. Such is the way that understanding and tolerance can be spread. Indeed, any good student of history can show how dishes have gone around the world through soldiers and travelers. One good example is how Scottish soldiers brought back the techniques and spices of India and the Far East, and such are now firmly a part of delicious Scottish cooking. Don�t believe me? Then look up and try Scallops in Coffins or Kedgeree.

But, you say, who won?

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April 19, 2003

Iron Chef Day

OK, It�s Saturday and I just don�t feel like doing anything too heavy today. There are a lot of possibilities though: Boycotts are hurting France in several areas, despite a heck of a lot of pundits saying that boycotts would not work; yet another terrorist was captured in Iraq, quite a feat since there was no connection between Baghdad and terrorism and the War on Terror; the father of Iraq�s VX nerve agent program has been turned over to Coalition forces, again despite the fact that Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction; and, on a very good news front, the polishing kit for the FN barrel has arrived.

But those will wait. There is something much more important to talk about today.

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