I’d love to share a photo of the deeeeeelicious omelet I made for dinner.
But I ate it.
Oh, but on the Contrari
20 Apr 2013 Leave a Comment
I’d love to share a photo of the deeeeeelicious omelet I made for dinner.
But I ate it.
11 Mar 2013 Leave a Comment
31 Jan 2013 Leave a Comment
09 Jan 2013 Leave a Comment
30 Dec 2012 Leave a Comment
I love the little tacos. I love them goooood. (High five if you get the reference.)
You are looking at a delicious homemade taco.
We bought corn tortillas (although for the record I have made them from scratch before), sprayed with oil, and baked on the oven rack for 10 minutes at 375°.
Most of the meat is home-ground, but we did buy some today because we didn’t have enough.
The seasoning is homemade, slightly adapted from a recipe I found on the internet. I’ll try to remember to share it soon.
Lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese are cut/shredded by hand.
I did not make the sour cream but just give me time….
Oh and this is a tortilla sprayed with oil, sprinkled with cinnamon-nutmeg-sugar, and baked. Next time maybe a bit more of the sugar mixture, and maybe a sweet cream cheese frosting to dip in. (Or maybe honey?)
I wasn’t planning to blog this but it was so damn delicious… I’ll be back tomorrow with a year-end post. (In fact, I’m going to go draft it right now.)
Hope your celebrations have been merry and bright, and that none of your guests have overstayed their welcome.
29 Dec 2012 2 Comments
It’s snowing pretty hard out there, and almost 100% humidity. It took about a whole cup of extra flour to pull this dough together, and there’s only 3 cups in the recipe. Yikes. (Yes I know that Saturday is the totally wrong day to make challah.)
11 Dec 2012 5 Comments
We caught a special Shalom Sesame about Hanukkah today, and Missy really got into it. (Gotta love Sesame Workshop.)
I believe in learning about other cultures and participatory learning, so I threw together a small celebration, and we talked about what she learned on the show.
I think I might also toss together a Kwanzaa day, learn more about the pagan solstice celebrations…. do it UP. Why not, while we do the Xmas stuff (and while my mom asks her about Jesus birthday cake).
I tossed together 9 candles.
I made some challah. God that bread is good. I always make half of the Challah I recipe on allrecipes.
I made sweet potato latkes. The oil foamed up weirdly, I guess because of the eggs. Seriously, though, omg those were goooooood. I followed a recipe on allrecipes.com.
Lastly, behold the holy sufganiot that I acquired from Dunkin just 10 minutes before closing.
26 Jul 2012 1 Comment
in Food, Geekery Tags: A Song of Ice and Fire, appetizer, bell peppers, cream cheese, entree, Game of Thrones, geek food, geeky recipes, jalapeno peppers, jalapeno poppers, pepper poppers, recipe, spicy, stuffed peppers
I first made this recipe for my Game of Thrones premiere party back in April. I am now addicted to them and I need an Anonymous meeting for them. So I’m going to get you all addicted to them and then we can have meetings and eat them together.
The original recipe for this came from Inn at the Crossroads, a blog that specializes in Westerosi cuisine. I love them and their mission (they have a cookbook out now!), but I have made some modifications to their original.
I also want to mention that, as a work in progress, I have actually made some more adjustments to this process since the date that I took these pictures. I’ll make note of the changes as I go. I would normally have waited to share this until I was more settled on the recipe, but I’m sharing this recipe at a tutorial event on Saturday and I wanted to have it available if anybody wants to know the recipe.
- Peppers. Bell peppers of any color are nice, and I’m a big fan of the “mini bells” that I’ve found at the market this season. Spicy peppers like jalapenos are also good for this!
- Goldfish crackers. Other cheesy crackers will work as well.
- Onions. I used two small ones this time, but one large will do as well. Adjust to your preference.
- Cheese. Cheddar was my choice this day. I also have used Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, and Mozzarella. Any of these are nice.
- A block of cream cheese. I never said these were light on fat.
- Spices of your choosing. I always put cumin in. Garlic and red pepper flakes are nice, as are chile powder and just about anything you’d like to add.
There are essentially three parts to this recipe: the filling, the topping, and the peppers themselves. First, let’s prep the peppers so they’re ready when we are. Use a paring knife to remove the stem end of each pepper, and then cut it in half so it can lay flat. Remove all the seeds. If you’re using spicy peppers and don’t want them to be too hot, make sure you get all of the white membrane inside as well.
If you’re using smaller peppers like jalapenos or mini bells, you can simply cut off the top and scoop out the seeds, leaving the peppers intact. This is my current favorite way to do them, but I also really love the big bells.
Next, let’s create the filling. Chop up your onion(s) into a small dice. Here’s one of the biggest changes I’ve made – put these onions in a skillet with a splash of oil and cook them first. They’ll get soft and transparent, and a little brown around the edges. You can add spices directly to the onions if you like (garlic and red peppers are good here). I feel that the added flavor, not to mention softness, of the cooked onions is way better here. You may skip this step if you choose, as I did on this preparation.
Now you can shred your cheese, if it’s not pre-shredded. There was, at one point, a measurement involved with this, but I just eye it now. When the mountain looks big enough, I’m done. Haha. You’ll also want your cream cheese softened. If you cooked your onions, all you need to do is put the cream cheese in a bowl and put the onions on top and they’ll soften it right up. If you’re going with raw onions, try popping it in the microwave for a few seconds (withOUT the metal wrapper).
Put your onions and cheeses in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Looking at this photo with a bit more practice, I can say that there are a few too many onions in here and perhaps not enough cheese. You can adjust the ratio to your liking of course. You can also add any spices you’d like at this point. I generally don’t, though, since the onions are already spiced and I’m about to spice the topping.
Pop some cheesy crackers into the bowl of your food processor and crunch them up. You can also just beat them in a plastic bag but that takes too long for me. You can make the topping as crunchy or as fine as you’d like. I prefer it somewhere between the two, with some larger chunks but also a lot of fine-crumb sized pieces. While the crackers are spinning, add the spices. The spice that must flow here, for me, is cumin. Not too much; you don’t want to overwhelm it. Red pepper flakes will add a nice kick, and garlic is never remiss. Paprika and chile powder are also nice, and I bet nutmeg would make a good appearance as well.
Now that you’ve got all the parts, it’s time to assemble! Simply scoop the filling into the peppers. If you’re doing it popper-style with whole peppers, you may want to use a chopstick to press it down into the tip of the pepper.
Then, add the topping. Just sprinkle it on and press it down into the cheesy filling a bit. Or, you can pick up the peppers (the smaller ones) and just dip them in. The original recipe called for an egg wash and some rolling, but I didn’t like that very much.
Pop those babies into the oven! I think I do them at 350F for, oh about 15 minutes? I’ll be honest – I don’t time it. 350 is the default for my oven so I go with that, but then I just kinda keep an eye on them until they get all melty and soft. You can poke and prod them if you’re concerned about pepper texture.
However long it takes them in the oven, when they come out they are full of molten cheese and absolutely delicious. I wasn’t kidding when I said I was addicted. These make a great appetizer, of course, but I’ve also served them as a main course with a side of rice! And don’t worry about making too many. On the rare occasion that they’re not all eaten immediately, just put them in the fridge. Warm them up a bit in the microwave the next day and they are Even Better! (If that’s even possible, that is.)
Have you ever made a “geek recipe”? What was it, and how did it turn out?
15 Jun 2012 Leave a Comment
Strawberries are in season all across North America, which makes this the perfect weekend to find a “u-pick” farm and gather your own delicious berries. I’d like to take a few moments of your day to share some tips I’ve learned about strawberries.
Tip 1: The smaller berries have better flavor.
I don’t know if this is because the flavor is more concentrated or what the actual reason is, but all my experience tells me so. The supermarkets will stuff those little plastic clamshell boxes with giant berries, which may *look* impressive, but they taste like cotton. Not to mention all the empty space in that box, which you’re paying for!
Tip 2: Buy them as fresh as possible.
All berries have a pretty short shelf life. By buying your berries as close to the actual strawberry plant as you can, you get to take advantage of as much of that time as possible. There are farms all over the country where you can pick your own, not to mention all the farmer’s markets. I bought mine today from an Amish family who picked them just this morning. The ones at the supermarket? I have no idea where they came from or when they were picked, nor do I have any way of knowing what was done to them to make them look nice.
Tip 3: As soon as you get them home, wash them.
Now, wait, don’t just run them under the faucet. I’ve heard anecdotes of berries actually rotting faster when they’re washed in plain water. Get a bucket or large bowl and combine one part plain vinegar with 10 parts of plain water. I use a margarine tub with 1/4 cup of vinegar and 2 1/2 cups of water. Dump in your berries (in several batches or all at once) and swirl them around for a few moments. Remove them, rinse if you wish, and store. (This is also effective for other kinds of berries.)
Tip 4: Eat them!
Strawberries are DELICIOUS.
Have a great weekend everybody.
14 Jun 2012 Leave a Comment
You may have noticed that I am a big fan of onions. They’re an ingredient in just about every savory recipe I’ve shared here, and in fact in just about every savory recipe I make, shared or not. I love their taste, I love their texture, and I especially love their versatility. They work with just about every flavor profile and cooking method.
Every once in a while, I get a craving for FRIED onions. Specifically, onions shaped like rings and covered with crust. A lot of people would just dash out to the nearest fast “food” place and pick some up, or maybe get some premade ones from the freezer case at the supermarket. But I’m sure you know me well enough by now to know that that’s not how I roll. And I’m here to tell you that homemade onion rings are SUPER easy.
You will need:
- onions. I generally use one small-t0-medium onion.
- two forks, a medium bowl, a sharp knife and a cutting board
- a cooling rig – paper towels are fine, a rack on top of the paper towels would be better.
- batter, see below
- oil – an inch or so deep in your cast iron skillet – put it on the burner first so it can get hot while you prep the rings
Here’s your batter.
3/4 cup flour, 2/3 cup milk, 1 egg, 1 tbsp oil, 1/4 tsp salt.
Mix these together in a bowl. Stir until smooth and unlumpy. Feel free to adjust the texture as you like. More flour will give a thicker batter, more milk will thin it (obviously). You can leave out this salt if you are concerned about sodium, but seriously this is not health food. Just leave it in – it tastes much better.
Slice the onion(s) into a big ol’ pile of rings. Separate them gently with your fingers. The center of the onion will be too small to make decent rings with; just put that part in a container and use in your next meal. If the outer layers have green veins (like the one on the left side of this photo), they won’t taste very good, so discard them.
Dip the rings into the batter and swirl them around to coat them. This particular batch has extra milk and is a little thin. Lift them with one of your forks and let the excess drip off. If your oil is ready (I think 350 degrees is the temperature, but I never actually use the thermometer for this. I actually take a drop of the batter and put it in the oil – if it immediately starts to sizzle, it’s ready), drop in the rings, one at a time.
Sorry for the fuzzy photo, lol. Make sure not to crowd your pan or add too many at one time (so that the oil temperature doesn’t fall too much). If your rings are not bubbling like mad from the second you put them into the oil, they’ll absorb the fat and be horrible and gross. Take them out if this happens, and crank the heat.
Watch the edges of the rings for the telltale color of Golden Brown and Delicious. It usually takes around a minute for each ring, but it’ll depend on the thickness of your batter and of your individual onion. Use your second fork (or a frying spider) to flip them over.
When they’re done, evacuate them to your cooling/draining rig. If your oil is hot and you don’t let them overcook, and you allow them to drain properly, your onions will retain very little oil. They’ll not be healthy, but they also won’t be balls of grease.
If you get drips of batter in the oil as you fry, try to remember to get them out, or else they’ll burn and then stick to the rings, which is why you see those black dots on these rings. :/
Salt them while warm (if you want) and serve. I like ketchup with mine, but just about any dipping sauce will work here. Onions are versatile, I told you.
I don’t have a pretty staged food photo for you this time. I was too busy devouring my onion rings. What are you still doing reading? Go make some.