Category Archives: Fun with Food

Habanero Hot Sauce*

* Ooops!  I forgot the title ’til I saw that “untitled post” had been favorited.  Fixed

DSC_8828 (1600x1060)I have many more habanero peppers than I will ever use.  I hate to waste such pretty things so I went Google diving, looking for a recipe I found last year and used.  I’m not sure if I posted anything about it.  I did a post that included a sauce recipe using habs but this one is a little different:

Habanero Hot Sauce

About 12-15 (give or take…) Habanero peppers. Remove the seeds.
1 can sliced peaches in either heavy or light syrup.
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup yellow mustard
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
The original recipe called for 1/2 cup mustard but it seemed like too much so I halved it. Blend it all on high until liquified. Refrigerate overnight or use right away. You can also freeze or can jars of it. It’s also supposed to keep for a long time in the refrigerator. I canned the extra out of the first batch but I’m going through it so fast, after filling my old tabasco bottle with it I just freeze the rest until ready to use.

I’m not a huge fan of molasses so I used only a little, and subbed some of my whole grain mustard for the yellow.  After it all was processed in my machine it seemed a bit thick so I added some seasoned rice vinegar.  I have a pint of the finished sauce in the fridge, and 5 half pint jars full that I processed in a boiling water bath.  DSC_9021 (1600x1060)I guess how big the can of peaches is will make some difference – I used some re-hydrated peaches that we bought dried.  They were just too chewy to eat as is but when soaked in water for a day or two in the fridge they were pretty good.  Not like fresh or canned by any means.  The water they soaked in turned into a liquid nearly the same as syrup from canned, sweet even without any added sugar.DSC_9024 (1600x1060)

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Cajun Food Pr0n – Gumbo

DSC_9004 (1600x1060)I always send folks to this page when they ask for a gumbo recipe.  It’s for a chicken and sausage gumbo but easily adapts to whatever meat you have on hand.  The pictured gumbo has the chicken and sausage, plus precooked shrimp and crawfish tails that were added just at the end to warm through.

Dessert Pr0n – Raspberry Crumb Pie

DSC_9018 (1600x1060)This is still sitting on the windowsill, cooling.  I bet it will be good.  We saw a picture of a raspberry pie some fellow on another blog posted in comments that looked great.  No idea what recipe he used but this one appears to be similar.

Tidbits

DSC_4847 (1600x1060)Lots of praying mantises today.  This one had a hold on a hummingbird before Mrs J, hearing a small commotion in the bush, reached in to rescue it.  She said she thought it was hung in a spiderweb at first and only saw the mantis when the bird’s foot didn’t come clear.DSC_4857 (1600x1060)This fellow is in the coleus but isn’t the same one from the other day.  That one had green eyes.  I’m not sure if mantises can change colors, a quick search found answers all over the map.  Some said yes, some no, and a few were firmly in the sometimes camp.DSC_4855 (1600x1060)I’m pretty sure this one is the same one from before.  He is in a green coleus right next to the vari-colored one, both of them in pots Mrs J has set in the shade of a small crabapple tree.DSC_4858 (1600x1060)My habaneros are loving this August heat.  I picked this bush once already and there are as many ripe now as before.  These are more than I will use.  Need any?DSC_8964 (1600x1060)We’re loving the big slicer tomatoes the garden is producing.  They are perfect for BLTs, or BELTs, as is the case here.DSC_4845 (1600x1060)Toby is still not sure I won’t do something to him he won’t like.  Ginger plays with him quite a bit and Toby doesn’t seem to mind, but let Homer come by and there will be trouble.  Toby has taken a serious dislike to that boy and we’ve had to separate them lest fur fly and the dogs become fearful for their own safety.DSC_8971 (1600x1060)I’ll close with a few more sammiches.  I fired up the panini press for this reuben and all the cheese ran out.  The pickle is a bread and butter spear.  Tasty!DSC_8968 (1600x1060)Last is a mushroom Swiss burger.  I sauteed some brown buttons in butter and olive oil, added beef stock with cornstarch for a thickener, and ladled them all over the cheese covered patty.  It’s a classic burger recipe, and for good reason.

Pizza Pr0n – Pastrami

DSC_8961 (1600x1060)This was just a spur of the moment thing.  I started the dough the day before, not really sure yet what the toppings would be or I would have made a run after rye flour for the crust.  I did look for rye flour today and finally found some at the local co-op store.  I talked to a fellow there about the hard time we had finding it and he said there was a crop failure last year and it was a bit early yet for this year’s crop.  This one was so much fun I’m pretty sure you’ll be seeing something similar here, soon.DSC_8952 (1600x1060)I didn’t use any sauce, as such, but I did brush the crust with garlic oil before laying the provolone on.  Next layer was pastrami, then dill pickles, then the rest of the provolone we had on hand.DSC_8957 (1600x1060)The mustard was left off for the picture of the whole pie, I knew I wanted to use the bright yellow mustard on mine.  Mrs J favors honey mustard.DSC_8958 (1600x1060)Enjoy!

Vodka Sauce

Living as we do in the remote wilderness of Southern Illinois the latest food fad filters down to us a few years behind most everyone else.  Not sure how long this sauce has been a thing but I’ve been seeing it here and there lately and gave it a try tonight.  Most recipes use peeled tomatoes but I had a bunch more of those little cherry toms and there is no way I’m peeling them.  I went looking for an easy recipe.DSC_8936 [1600x1060]I have a bunch of fresh thyme leaves in this, and a good bit of fresh basil.  Not sure why the directions call for cooking down the vodka with just the onions and garlic in the pan, most of the recipes I looked at mention using the alcohol to bring out flavors from the tomatoes that water and oil can’t touch.  I cooked the cherries down a bit and then added the vodka.  As the sauce thickened I added some white wine, too.  This recipe didn’t mention cheese but I mixed in a cup of grated Romano right before the cream.  I wish I could say this stuff was really delicious and I can’t wait to do it again but it was just OK.  I sure won’t be using unpeeled tomatoes in any more of it. DSC_8943 (1600x1060)The salad was nice. This has blue cheese dressing and some crumbled blue cheese.

Tidbits

DSC_8890 (1600x1060)Don’t try to do this at home!  We browsed around at the local Amish run store the other day and finally picked up a squeeze tube of pie filling after seeing them there every time we went.  They have several different flavors, we took home the cherry:DSC_8933 (1600x1060)There are little chips of fruit in there but nothing the size of a whole or even half cherry.  There are 2 lbs. of it in the tube, not sure what the volume is but I think it’s plenty for at least one 9″ pie.  We didn’t buy it for that, though, because the squeezable nature of it is perfect for fried pies.  Alas, we discovered that those prepared crusts from the store are just not very good for that.  They tasted good but they were so fragile they were impossible to hold without coming apart.  Looks like it’ll be back to Mrs J’s Famous Fried Pies crust recipe to use up the remainder.Screenshot (5) (1600x1060)Yay me!  Alas, the thrill of turning over another million views is tempered somewhat by a new method for counting that Flickr.com is using.  I’m not sure what the new scheme is but it has drawn much comment from the user community.DSC_8864 (1600x1060)Hard to beat a nice ribeye.  Grilled sweet corn is another one of those things that we’ve been doing that is relatively new for us.  Mostly we just boiled it.  I’ve always buttered and salted mine but I’ve been going with other seasonings lately.  Old Bay is very good on it, tonight I used some of Olde Thomson’s tex-mex blend of seasonings.DSC_4841 (1600x1060)Mrs J spotted this fellow on her Coleus, down in the shade of a crabapple tree.  I scrambled down there with the camera and got a few decent pictures.  Mantises are one of my favorite insects.  They don’t show much fear of the camera but you can make them pay some attention:DSC_4842 (1600x1060)

Kitchen Fun

DSC_8900 (1600x1060)While we were at the store yesterday looking for cake ingredients we went ahead and bought some ground beef for a couple of quick burgers.  Hard to beat burgers grilled over a flame.  There was a fair amount of beef leftover so we bounced a few ideas around.  Mrs J mentioned sloppy joes and that sounded pretty good.  I went to the patio to grab some sweet peppers to go into the dish and brought in a few.  As I was breaking them down I thought it a waste to let those cute little peppers go unstuffed.DSC_8914 (1600x1060)Before long I had them filled with a mix of taco seasoned beef and nacho cheese sauce and topped with shredded cheddar and Monterey jack.  They went into a 350 oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.DSC_8916 (1600x1060)We had settled on a Nacho centered meal by this time what with the ground beef seasonings and cheeses already to hand.  We needed another dish to round out the menu, Mrs J suggested making more of the black bean and corn salsa:DSC_8925 (1600x1060)We have cherry tomatoes ripe again so they went in, as did 3 ears of sweet corn with the kernels shaved off the cob.  There are several varieties of peppers chopped up in there, a few green onions, a can of rinsed black beans, salt, black pepper, and a dash of lime juice in with a rice vinegar dressing.  It’s pretty good.DSC_8921 (1600x1060)Everything came together nicely on a platter.  I piled the chips on a toaster oven tray and sprinkled them with a good handful of the shredded cheeses and then popped it into the toaster oven under the broiler to melt the cheeses.  The whole pile slid right onto the platter and then I really piled on the extras:  the taco seasoned beef, some of that corn salsa, sliced jalapenos, nacho cheese sauce, sour cream, guacamole, New Mexico green chili salsa, more green onions, and a good grind of dried chili seasonings.

Enjoy!DSC_8923 (1600x1060)

Dessert Pr0n – Chocolate Cake

DSC_8913 (1600x1060)We had fun doing this one.  We started out thinking Black Forest Cake when the pastry cream in one of the images Google served up caught our fancy.  Youtube has plenty of how to videos for nearly anything you need to learn about – this one is pretty good.  One of the comments on a BFC recipe mentioned raspberry filling instead of cherry and before long we were winging it.  We used a box mix for the cake, substituting strong coffee for the cup of water in the instructions on the back of the box.  A quick trip to the store for the raspberries and we were good to go.

Enjoy!DSC_8906 (1600x1060)

Fun With Food

DSC_8879 (1600x1060)Because I’m really only nine years old.

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