Monday, January 31, 2011

Camera Cleanup #7

Found some shots of this years Christmas dinner, which was as always, wicked good. My sister in law does the lions share of the cooking, which usually features classic brown sugar/mustard glazed ham with pineapple and cherries. Good times and killer sandwiches later.

This year she made this awesome pumpkin cake with a chocolate glaze. The glaze was like a ganache and it was also wicked good.

Then there's these. These are called Holiday Bacon Appetizers and they're from Ree, the illustrious Pioneer Woman. It's bacon, crackers and cheese all heated and crisped and fatty and stuff. Look, they're rich enough that even she only makes them for the holidays. That should tell you something. Something good.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Cats #78

Noodles has a stubby little tail.
It kind of looks like a kitten tail since it starts so broad at her haunches and tapers to a fine point. Maybe she's just a giant kitten, which would explain her behavior.

The real Bob has never eaten real fish in his life (not counting canned tuna), yet somehow he knows he wants that goldfish.
Fortunately he isn't clever enough to open the lid or graceful enough to balance on the edge of the cabinet. Heh.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Camera Cleanup #6

I don't know about you guys, but I often wind up taking pictures here and there or taking half a set of ones for something I'm cooking, forgetting to finish and then just leaving them on the memory card in my camera. Taking up space. Driving me nuts with waiting when I want to get anything else off of it.

That's what it's like now, so, that means it's camera cleanup time. I may not have any recipes or even know exactly what it is I made, but here are some pictures of stuff that was taking up precious, precious space.

Ok, I actually know exactly what this is. It's a failed pizza dough pita. It didn't poof, probably because I rolled it too thin and it crinkled up on the stone. But it was still wicked good and I wrapped some chicken and corn in it. I remember that the filling was spicy... but that's really it. Hm.

Anyway, this was chili I made with some ribs that I screwed up. Oh man was I pissed when I pulled those out of the oven and half were perfect and the other half were ... not. The problem was one side was much thinner than the other so it cooked a lot faster. But we ate the ones that were done and I made chili with the rest. I just cut between each bone and cooked them in broth and seasoning for a couple hours, then added beans, corn, I think there's some potato in there too. It was wicked good, the bbq sauce on the ribs added a nice sweetness and the bones really enriched the broth.

So, yeah. Camera cleanup. This is going to be an ongoing series since I have a whole mess of pics that I either don't know exactly what they are or don't have a full post worth of. Plus I haven't been doing much cooking lately for one reason or another. Heh, so I suppose it's a good thing that I have all these pictures on my memory card.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Cats #77

Uhm, buddy? Trying to make the bed here.
Yes, you.
Fine.Heh, he loves it, really. He'll stay under the covers for whole lengths of time. He does risk getting stuff piled on him if we don't notice he's under there though.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pecan Tassies

I have a fairly large family (I'm the youngest of seven) so for Christmas we just draw names out of a hat and get a gift for one person/family unit. This year one of my sisters got my girlfriend and me and along with some amusing t shirts she sent a couple dozen of these. These are pecan tassies and they are deadly. They're like mini pecan pies with a cream cheese crust. And no, there isn't one missing from that pack. I swear I didn't eat any before taking a picture because they just looked so good, it only appears that way. All right? All right.Anyway, my girlfriend and I almost came to blows over the last one.

It went down like this:

*Intense stare down, High Noon whistle. I loom over her, almost a foot taller and much heftier.*

Me: "You think you can take me, girl? I have over 100 pounds on you and years of martial arts under my belt!"

Girlfriend: "Uh-huh. Hey! Noodles is scratching your guitar! Go stop her!"

Me: "Whaa?!" I turn my back.

I turn back after noting that no, Noodles was not scratching my guitar but my girlfriend is covered in crumbs and grins. The bastard.

Ok, that didn't really happen. But civil discussion isn't half as amusing.

So anyway, I figured I'd have to make them. But that hasn't happened yet and since I want to clean up my camera I'm going to post about them anyway. My sister used the recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, but I don't feel like writing out a recipe today. So instead I'm going to link to a few of my favorite bloggers who have posted a recipe for them.

Evil Shenanigans has one that uses golden syrup, which I bet gives a great texture to them.

Here is one at The Joy of Baking that looks an awful lot like the BH&G version and if it is I can testify to its awesomeness.

And here is a gluten free pecan tassie recipe from Simply Gluten Free, which I am intrigued by. I'm not a gluten free needing person but they look fantastic and if that's something you're into you should check that out.

Who out there has had these? Has anyone ever subbed other nuts? I was thinking cashews or almonds. Maybe chocolate and peanuts...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Pineapple Teriyaki Burger

Seems like it's been some time since I've posted a burger on here and that's just not right. So, in order to fix that I'm going to post about a burger right now. I know, I know, it's an extreme solution, but I'm a man of action and these types of things appeal to me.

Ok, that's a lie. I'm not a man of action. But I do enjoy burgers and this one did appeal to me quite a bit. The specific flavor combo was requested by my girlfriend and I must say it was quite nice. I whipped up a teriyaki sauce and mixed a couple tablespoons into the beef, then I seared the pineapple (and a little sliced shallot for myself) to give it some extra pizazz. You'll note I'm not posting the recipe for the teriyaki sauce. That's because while it was adequate it really wasn't anything special.

So this is what I need from you guys: an awesome teriyaki recipe. I've made several, but none of them have really wowed me. Who has a good one they want to share?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Something Else to Do With Pizza Dough: Pita Bread

It's true, you can make pita with pizza dough. Ok, it's not quite the same, but it's pretty close. and works just fine for filling with salad or whatever you happen to want pita for. I filled mine with lettuce, onion and some jerk mahi mahi.

Last time I made the jerk mahi mahi I didn't put enough of the rub on, but this time I did. I just rubbed until I couldn't see fish any more through the seasonings and it worked out great. Heh.

To make the pita all you do is preheat a pizza stone or baking sheet (425 for the stone, 450 for a sheet), roll out a circle of dough about ~1/4" thick and slap it on the preheated cooking object. It bakes really fast, only about a minute or so, so you need to keep an eye on it. It should puff right up but if it doesn't just use it like a wrap instead of a pocket. Or just put some garlic butter on there and eat it out of hand. That is also good.

So who out there makes homemade pita? What's your favorite thing to put inside?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Cats #75

Seventy five Sunday Cat posts! Holy crap, that's a lot. That's even more posts than I've done about bacon. Heh. And the stuff they put up with. Well, that the real Bob puts up with. Noodles doesn't put up with much of anything. It's a good thing she's so cute. Classy too.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Repost: Quick Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew

I'm still sick so I figured I would repost something that I would like to be eating. This is also a perfect stew for winter, so that's even better. Enjoy!
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1.5 lbs cooked chicken, cut into pieces
1 cup carrot chunks
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup diced onion
3 cups chicken broth or stock
1 baked sweet potato
1 tsp fresh basil
1 tsp tarragon
1/2 tsp sage
1 bay leaf
3-4 tbls flour
salt and pepper

Brown the onion in some oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the carrots and saute until slightly brown. Add garlic and saute until flavorful. Add the chicken and saute until slightly browned. Sprinkle on the flour and cook for just another minute. Add the broth, sage, tarragon and bay leaf and bring to a simmer, cover and let cook for about a half hour so the flavors mingle. Peel and mash the sweet potato and add it to the stew, along with the basil. Let it simmer for about 10-15 more minutes and add salt and pepper to taste.

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I know what you're thinking. "Stew? In July?" Well, I don't think it's been over 80 degrees here yet this year and the sun didn't come out at all last month. So it's been fall foods for fall weather. Personally, I love it (the weather and the stew). I'm really not into sun or heat, I like cold and cloudy. I want to move to Scandinavia wicked bad, but my girlfriend isn't having any of it. Ah well. Heh.

Anyway, I wasn't sure exactly how I should post this recipe. It is a fail, but the end result was still really good. And while I do think you should try this, I don't recommend going about it the way I did, it's way more work than is needed. But what started it all? Well, I had wanted to make sweet potato dumplings.

First I needed a vehicle for them. Chicken stew seemed appropriate and fitting with the weather. I had some braised chicken that needed using, so it would be a quick stew too. So, bacon fat. Because I can. Then I browned up some onion, nice and dark. Then, since it's a quick stew and I didn't need to worry about them getting too squishy, I tossed in some carrot chunks. I wanted to get some browning on them too. Then, of course, garlic (but no picture, sorry). Then the cooked chicken. I let them sit for a bit to try to get more browning, then mixed it all up. At this point I added a bunch of flour. I like adding the flour here better than coating the meat with it because this way the meat browns instead of just the flour. You don't want to just add the broth right now though, that would make it taste like raw flour. You need to let it cook for a minute or so. Then I added the chicken broth and the dry herbs (sage, bay leaf and tarragon). Covered it and let it cook for a while. As that simmered I took a baked sweet potato, cut it in half, scooped out the goodies and mashed it all up. Added an egg and some flour and such and mixed it up (there was a recipe, but I can't find it right now). Still looked really wet. I added a little more flour and then decided to just move along. This was a mistake, I should have used more flour. Oh well, live and learn. Scooped big ol' tablespoons of "dumpling" batter into the stew, covered it and let it cook for a while. Took off the lid, made a face and covered it to see if the dumplings would set. They didn't. I pulled them out of the pot and racked my brain. I was left with a bowl full of goop and a watery chicken and carrot stew. Great. Something was going to be wasted. Well, unless... I could put some of the sweet potato goop into the thin stew. That might thicken it and give it some richness too. Hmmm, yes. Maybe a little basil to brighten it. Uhm, yeah. That'll do. In fact, it's wicked good. So, win was snatched from the jaws of fail, but next time I'm not going to bother with trying to make the dumplings. I'm just going to add the mashed sweet potato to the stew and call it done. And that's the recipe I'm going to share. Let us never speak of the dumplings again.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday Cats #74

I'm getting a cold and this means two things. One, at some point soon I'm going to make myself some spicy ramen. And two, I don't have the energy (or brainpower, thanks cold medicine!) to write clever things about my cats. So I'm not going to bother trying, I'm just going to present them as is, in all their fluffy glory.And now I'm going back to bed. Have a restful Sunday everyone.

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