Category Archives: JeffreyW

Parmesan Potato Soup with Bacon

DSC_9465 (1600x1060)This turned out pretty well.  The bacon made that a foregone conclusion but the Parmesan was an experiment gone good.  I simmered potato pieces in chicken broth until they were soft and then pureed everything in the pot with an immersion blender.  The bacon crisped up in a separate pan and was added after the blender did its job – save a little for garnishing at the table.  There’s some milk in there to thin it, lots of grated Parmesan and some cheddar I had leftover from burritos.  Seasonings include dried thyme, oregano, fresh ground black pepper and salt.  I used the same microplane grater I grated the Parm with on a little bit of carrot that you can see in the photo if you look hard.DSC_9462 (1600x1060)Since I am  lunatic I took the chance to add a little color to the plate with a healthy slug of my hot sauce.  It was good but I wouldn’t let the lack of it dissuade me from demolishing a future bowl of this soup.

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Breakfast Pr0n – Burrito

DSC_9461 (1600x1060)I’ve loved these things ever since my first introduction at a jobsite where they were being sold out of a cooler by a fellow helping out a girlfriend.  This one is beef and bean with a cheese omelet all rolled up together.  I’m really liking my hot sauce, I’ll be making more of this stuff.  The cayennes I used didn’t heat it nearly so much as I thought they might.  I believe a few habaneros will go into the next batch.

Friday Recipe Exchange: Preparing for Thanksgiving

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Cornbread Stuffing Photo by JeffreyW

Bixby and I are hitting the road for the holiday, as long as the weather stays nice. I’m planning on arriving early so I can help with prep, because I like love to cook. Bixby is growing fast and you can see his latest photo here, along with a quick update. I hope he does as well in the car as he did last trip.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, next to 4th of July. Food, family, friends…and leftovers. I compiled some favorite recipes for tonight’s recipe exchange.

JefferyW makes Cornbread Stuffing,  part 1 here and part 2 here.

Roasted Butternut Apple Soup makes a great starter, recipe here.

I think I’m going to volunteer for mashed potato duty this year so I can make these again, a lost recipe found, Hearty Garlic Mashed Potatoes, link here. I made them years ago and then completely forgot about the recipe.

And this recipe is the reason I think I get invited to many holiday gatherings, my Cranberry Upside Down Cake, click here.

Since my brother is cooking again this year, we’ll probably have deep fried turkey, which is ok by me, as long as I’m not cooking it. I have a real fear of deep frying anything, which is why all the deep fried recipes on the blog are from JeffreyW. I will still cook a turkey, though, because, leftovers. This year I’m going to try the braising method from America’s Test Kitchen’s Braised Turkey technique, link here, minus the brining.

Not sure how you want to cook your turkey this year? I’ve listed some ideas from people smarter than I am: turkey four different ways, here.

What’s on the menu for your Thanksgiving this year? Do you have a must-have recipe for your holiday dinner?

I’m not a fan of traditional candied sweet potatoes, so tonight’s featured recipes are some non-traditional styles of recipes for sweet potatoes.

Cajun Sweet Potatoes

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup butter,  melted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • ¼ tsp cumin (opt)

Covered casserole dish, well-greased

Steamer and saucepan

In saucepan, add water, steamer and sweet potatoes. Steam until you can easily stick a fork in them. They don’t need to be completely soft. About 10-15 minutes. Add sweet potatoes to casserole dish. Combine oil, butter and spices. Pour evenly over potatoes. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes until potatoes are soft. You can adjust cooking time if you prefer your firmer or softer potatoes.

Sweet Potatoes w/Apples

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 apples, cored & sliced
  • 8 oz can sliced pineapple (including liquid)
  • 2 tsp butter
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt

2 qt casserole dish, greased

Add ingredients to casserole dish. Stir gently and bake at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes, uncovered, until apples and potatoes are very soft. Cover if it begins to brown too much

That’s it for this week. No recipe exchange next week I hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.   – TaMara

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Shrimp Creole

DSC_9457I needed a good place to give my homemade hot sauce a good test.  Flying colors, man!  Flying colors!

Recipe from NOLA Cuisine.  Give his place a look, y’all.

Tidbits

DSC01045 (1600x1200)This pretty girl has been at the shelter for a while now.  She was a surrender – the owner became unable to care for her due to infirmity.  Mrs J hoped to promote her adoption prospects by placing her prominently in the shelter’s Facebook page but no luck so far despite going home with a prospect for a visit, and some inquiries.  DSC_9454 (1600x1060)The last batch of cayennes I picked went into my fermenting jar, the same rig that works so well for counter top sauerkraut.  It’s pretty easy to make your own hot sauces and you can tailor the recipe to your own tastes by using different peppers or liquids.  Not that I have any great expertise since this is my first batch.  I forget exactly which recipe I used but this one seems very close to it. The ratio of salt to peppers is the same, I used a white wine to cover them in the jar.  Cayennes aren’t the hottest peppers out there but they do have some heat.  I don’t remember now how long these spent in the jar but going on two months seems close.  I didn’t use any whey or starter to hurry the fermenting.DSC00977 - Copy (1600x1200)This is Jack, a bashful sort.  He has since been adopted.DSC_9433 (1600x1060)It’s been a long time since we’ve had pork chops for dinner.  These simmered in mushroom cream for a good hour.  The potatoes were mashed with garlic and sour cream, the broccoli were steamed and treated to a lemon butter sauce made with white wine and thickened a little with cornstarch to help it cling to the veggies.DSC00982 (1600x1200)This is Toby, a terrier mix.  Mrs J thinks he’s gone on to a new home.DSC_9442 (1600x1060)I’ll close this out with a stir fry, this one is chicken and various veggies in a brown sauce with a batch of fried rice.  “Brown sauce” is a generic term and there are tons of recipes out there.  I generally use a little of this and a little of that in mine – IIRC this one has soy sauce, black vinegar, Chinese cooking wine, chicken broth, sesame oil, Hoisin sauce, garlic chili paste, cornstarch, and a dash of Maggi branded seasoning sauce.  The chicken marinated for an hour in similarly seasoned marinade – heavier on the cornstarch.

Sammich Pr0n – French Dip Roast Beef

DSC_9443 (1600x1060)I spent the morning slicing and vacuum sealing a ham, a beef roast, and a corned beef.  I kept out enough of the sliced roast beef to make a couple of these.  They are the next thing to an Italian beef, lacking only the particular seasonings.  I’m calling it a roast beef although it was slow cooked in a big crockpot.  I added beef broth, red wine, lots of garlic, sliced onions, and bay leaves.  If I had added basil and oregano, and maybe rosemary I would consider it full on Italian beef.  It was cooked to 150 internal temperature, not quite well done but pretty close.  It spent a day in the fridge before slicing.

Tidbits

DSC_4986 (1600x1060)Homer has been an outside kitty lately because of his ongoing battle with Toby.  He does come in everyday to spend time but gets ousted if he acts up.  I think he may be mellowing a bit – the cuddle on the sofa with Bitsy was rare enough that I thought a photo was warranted.DSC_9402 (1600x1060)I picked all the remaining jalapenos so Mrs J could take the pot away and dump the old potting soil.  I sliced and froze these.DSC_9390 (1600x1060)A couple of tacos with guac and sour cream and a few of the last peppers.  I think these were ground beef cooked in a mole made from dried ancho peppers.  More of that sauce is on top, covering the lettuce, tomatoes, and cheddar.DSC01113 (1600x1200)Here are those pups from the other day that were smiling for the camera.  Mrs J says they are terrier poodle crosses.DSC01086 (1600x1200)They are really rocking their little doggie sweaters.DSC01106 (1600x1200)I think she said they were eight weeks old and would be released for adoption pretty soon.  I bet they go fast.DSC_9429 (1600x1060)Here’s a sammich I made the other day.  I had a chunk of hot coppa in the freezer that I thawed and sliced thin.  It also has traditional ham, a slice of roast pork, provolone, and various veggies in a vinaigrette made with dijon and balsamic vinegar.DSC_9416 (1600x1060)This looks like spaghetti and meatballs but the meat is just sliced link Italian sausage.  The sauce was from this year’s tomatoes and has a lot of Parmesan in it.  Good stuff.DSC_9431 (1600x1060)It’s been ages since I made bread in my machine.  This loaf really puffed up when it baked, I thought it might raise the lid before it quit growing.  The soup is a basic chicken noodle made with wide egg noodles and various veggies.  I always add too many noodles to the pot.

Mmm… Pizza!

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This is another one of those doughs that stayed out on the counter all night – two cups of bread flour, a quarter teaspoon of yeast, one cup of water, a wee pinch of salt and a sprinkle of sugar.  I massaged it into place in my pizza pan and let it rise there for another hour then par baked it at 425 for five minutes.  There isn’t a real sauce, per se, just some roasted grape tomatoes that I made last summer and then froze just for something like this.  It also has bacon, thin sliced coppa, some ham, a caramelized onion, mozzarella, and some nice Parmesan grated over it at the table.

DSC_9427 (1600x1060)I’ll just pop these leftover slices into the freezer just like this and then seal the individual slices in vacuum bags, they make great grab-’em-and-go lunches for Mrs J when she heads out to the shelter.

Nothing Says Thanksgiving Like Chili Cheese Fries

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Busy

Whoa!  Five days and I really have nothing.  We’ve been puttering about in the yard trying to get things winterized.  Putting hoses away and draining pump spray rigs,  I hate it when I forget to blow out the the hose and the spray handle freezes and splits.  I’m hanging on to a few containers with jalapenos and some herbs but it won’t be long before those are gone.DSC_9395The countertop griller is getting a workout.  I have lots of sliced corned beef and roast pork put away so we’ve been hitting the sandwiches pretty hard.  This one is pork with provolone and my yellow mustard relish with hot peppers and some sliced pickled jalapenos extra.  We’ve eaten several Reubens but I haven’t taken any pictures of those – search the site for reubens if you must see some.DSC_9400This one is almost a Cuban – instead of ham I have corned beef on it.  I haven’t tried to name it but you are welcome to do so.

We sent in our pet pictures for the pet calendar that helps to fund a shelter that is sponsored on another blog.  TaMara cross posts her Recipe Exchange there on Fridays.  Here are a few of our critters:AnnieThis is as close as Annie ever gets to swimming.  The water touches her belly and she knows she is in too deep.JackOur handsome boy, Jack.  He’s getting slower and going deaf and blind but he still has fun chasing the kitties down the hall.  They don’t run fast and he doesn’t chase far.TobyToby doesn’t get much space here, I’m happy to put this one up.  Toby is always serious looking, even when chasing a laser dot.

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