Daily Archives: August 17, 2010

Not How I Expected to Spend My Afternoon

I am so screwed

This little guy ran by my house in his collar and leash.  With the help of a neighbor I cornered him and brought him home.  I was expecting there to be tags or a phone number on the collar.  No such luck.  4 hours later, we’ve traversed the surrounding neighborhoods, visited the vet (no chip) and let everyone know where he can be found.  Tomorrow I’ll stop at the Humane Society and leave his information.  I’m reluctant to turn him in as long as he’s okay here and we have his information out there.

He’s obviously part terrier and smart as whip….and he loves the Great Dane next door, so…we’ll let’s just say I need to find his owner fast.

He’s adorable.  And I know he’s missed by someone.


Baked Chicken with Peaches

This turned out well.  It’s very sweet, I added some crushed red pepper to give it a bit more balance and I think next time I’d use red wine vinegar instead of lemon juice and maybe 2 tbsps.  Baked potato and greens would make good sides for it.

Baked Chicken with Peaches

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 fresh peaches – peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

8×8 glass baking dish, well oiled

Place chicken breasts in the baking dish. Sprinkle with ¼ cup brown sugar, cover with peach slices, sprinkle with remaining brown sugar, spices and lemon juice. Bake for 30 minutes, basting frequently (about every 10 minutes) at 350º.

Couscous with Meatballs, Dried Tomatoes, and Mushrooms

I’ve been wanting to use some of the dried tomatoes in a recipe just to see how they were gonna look.  I used a pint jar I had in the fridge full of them, with thyme and garlic all through and all of it drenched in olive oil.  I had a big box of fresh mushrooms to use up, and a trawl through the meat compartment turned up some Italian sausage.  The couscous I made the other day sat well with everyone so I boiled up another batch using an herbed box mix.  Meatballs sounded good to me so I rolled out the sausage into some with a bit of bread crumb and some minced garlic.  Let’s get started.

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Making Chili Oil

I was reading through my usual blogs and news orgs this morning and got to Ezra Klein at the WaPo.  The usual wonky stuff, but he is a sorta foodie so he has links to recipes and such like.  A link I followed led to the food guy at the NT Times in a video on how to make hot pepper infused oil.  Piqued my interest because 1) I like chili oil and 2) chili oil is expensive.  I din’t have all the stuff on hand that he mentions in the video, but I did have the basic stuff.  I used some slices of ginger, and tossed in a few allspice berries, a few cloves, a sprinkle of coriander and cinnamon.  And the red pepper flakes, and the szechuan peppercorns.  Fun was had.

Warm the oil (I used peanut oil.) over a low flame, you don’t want it to get too hot or the peppers will burn.  230-240 degrees is about tops.  Conversely, too cool and the flavors won’t infuse.  Anyway, warm the oil and dump in the peppers and the other spices, then let the oil return to heat.  Shut off the burner and set the pot aside to let it steep.  Longer is better although you can use it right away.  Strain the solids and maybe filter the oil through cheesecloth.  I did but it isn’t required.

Have fun!

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TaMara Picked a Peck of Pretty Peaches

I picked out a nice basket of peaches yesterday.  I’ll be recipe testing as I go, so the recipes will post late.  But to get you started, this is simple and makes a nice side dish:

Preheat a barbecue or griddle pan until hot. While preheating, cut the peaches in half, remove pits. Toss peach halves in a bowl with chopped rosemary, a splash of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Let set for 10 minutes, then remove. Grill the peaches for a couple of minutes on each side until nicely browned, not burnt! Serve with skins on, they should peel off easily before eating. Sprinkle with crumbled blue cheese.

Not that you need to do anything with fresh peaches to improve them.  But besides grabbing a peach and eating it, you can also slice them up.  The easiest way to peel is to scald them with boiling water (place peaches in a colander in the sink and pour water over them), let cool slightly and skins should easily slip off.  Halve, remove pits, slice and toss with a bit of sugar.  Let sit  for 30 to 60 minutes at room temperature before serving and you’ll have perfect sliced peaches.