Category Archives: Fun with Food

Another Thanksgiving Tradition

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Let’s Eat!

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Magnets – How Do They Work?

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DSC_1393 (1600x1060)We were in the local Kroger store the other day and I spotted a newly stocked item – queso quesadilla.  It’s a white cheese that melts really well without separating into solids and oil.  My understanding is that the folded and grilled tortilla menu item called “quesadilla” gets its name from the cheese and not the other way around.  I used some on these tacos and the bits that are close to the hot, taco seasoned beef are melting quite nicely.

Mac ‘n Cheese with Bacon

DSC_1434 (1600x1060)This is a standard mac and cheese recipe with crispy bacon added to the mix.  The panko topping was moistened with bacon grease rather than butter.  I made a bechamel sauce this time and stirred the cheeses into that instead of melting them straight into simmering milk.  I had some Gruyere leftover and also added Parmesan and sharp yellow cheddar.  This recipe gives a broad overview of the dish and their method will work fine although I used the same skillet for crisping the bacon and the oven finish, making the cheese sauce and mixing in the drained elbows in a sauce pot.  DSC_1437 (1600x1060)

Butterbeans and Cornbread

DSC_1430 (1600x1060)We made a run up to a local meat processing place a while back.  It’s just a tad too far away to make spur of the moment purchases or to include in weekly grocery runs.  We take coolers up there when we go and plan on filling them up with various items.  One thing they offer that just puts Kroger’s meat section to shame are their smoked ham hocks.DSC_1425 (1600x1060)This is half of one.  They brought out two whole hocks and asked if we wanted them cut down.  Yes, please!  They are cured and just lightly smoked.  I boiled this one for almost three hours so I could break it apart with a pair of forks.  I cut the rind into lardons and crisped them as bacon and used those crumbled crisps and the rendered fat in the cornbread.DSC_1426 (1600x1060)This is the standard back of the box cornbread recipe, with chopped peppers and a handful of shredded cheddar to go with those bacon-y crisps.DSC_1428 (1600x1060)Recipe for the beans?  This one is pretty good!  The minced veggies add a bit of color and the seasoning suggestions are on point.


DSC_1384 (1600x1060)We buy whole, boneless, smoked hams when they go on sale during and after the Holidays.  I usually slice them thin and freeze the slices in a vacuum bag but I cut a few slices thick just for this classic meal.  At least its classic for me!DSC02963 (1600x1200)Good spot for a kitteh.  This is Clarabell, she was left on the shelter’s front porch in a box marked stray.  She had some issues with her skin and coat but they are all now remedied.  Clarabell looks to have some Maine Coon in her background.  She’s shy but coming around.DSC_1398 (1600x1060)I bought a bag of frozen, shredded, potatoes that are marketed as hash browns.  I’ve never made these from frozen and wanted to give them a try.  They worked very well!  I am not at all disappointed.  The hot dog looking things are a cheap store branded bratwurst and were tastier than they look.DSC_1393 (1600x1060)Tacos!  I’m not from anywhere near where authentic Tex-Mex cuisine is prominent but my understanding is that this sort of taco is what happens when northern influences creep in.  I’m far from being a food snob so I’m not ashamed to say I love these things.DSC02999 (1600x1060)Moar kittehs!  I don’t know much about these other than they are quite young, Mrs J says they were from a neighboring, county run shelter that didn’t have room for them.  St Francis took them in.DSC_1392 (1600x1060)We’ve been using these mini-buns a lot.  This King Arthur recipe, divided into twenty pieces, produces buns 2-1/2 to 3 inches across.  Shape the dough from the same recipe into 6 or 8 logs for nice hoagie rolls.DSC03021 (1600x1200)One moar kitteh!  Norie is part of a litter of four.  She’s been chipped and her shots are current and she’s ready to go!

A Family of Talented Bakers


I have Aunts and Uncles who love to bake elaborate cakes for birthdays and other occasions. I was unaware it had filtered down to my cousins. Clearly it did not filter down to me. I thought I’d share the latest creation, which I thought was stunning. My cousin Bret made it for his niece, Harper.


Each layer looked delicious.


So very, very cute.


I’d say it was a success.  Can’t wait to see the next one.


Which turned out to be the next day, for his seven year old son. Per his request, Batman!

My cousins Bret (left) and Eric (right)

My cousins Bret (left – baker) and Eric (right – father of the birthday girl)




Pork Stuffed Mini Buns

DSC_1380 (1600x1060)My first batch of slider buns is dwindling to just a few now.  Today I stuffed a couple with roast pork and served them with a small dipping bowl of that sweet habanero sauce.  One of the local stores had ten pound sacks of potatoes on sale, I bought a bag and ran them through my french* fry cutter.  This time I culled the pieces with a lot of skin and those are the ones shown here.  They taste good despite the occasional sliver that’s overcooked – and they don’t look that bad!

* On a whim today, I asked Google if the french in french fries needed a capital and found some controversy, because grammar.  I did run across this:

Is the French in French fries capitalized? —  Most proper nouns or adjectives are capitalized when they occur in a food name: Boston brown bread, Russian dressing, Swiss cheese, Waldorf salad. Lowercase is used, however, when the food does not depend on the proper noun or adjective for its meaning: french fries, graham crackers, manhattan cocktail.

Sammich Pr0n – Roast Pork

DSC_1375 (1600x1060)My dough shaping still needs a lot of work.  This one is long and skinny.  It would make a fair foot long hotdog bun.  I made it work with roasted and chopped pork today and it does manage the task in a workman like manner but without the élan I hoped for.  It has a sweet habanero sauce and a nice garnish of hot giardiniera.


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