Category Archives: Fun with Food

Mmm… Cream Horns

20160825_124016(1600x1200)Making these was a fun way to spend a sweltering late August day.20160825_112315(1600x1200)Cut a flat of puff pastry into strips like so.  These are roughly 3/4″ wide – each one will become one horn when wound around the specialty pastry molds.  We had 6 so we had to run relays, I ordered more.20160825_120258(1600x1200)Mrs J brushed them all with an egg wash and sprinkled on some sugar.  They will bake for about 12 minutes at 350, check them every 5 minutes, turning them once.20160825_123057(1600x1200)When they’ve cooled use a pastry bag to fill with cream.  We tried this recipe:

MARSHMALLOW FLUFF ICING
1 stick butter (no substitutes)
7 oz jar of marshmallow creme
4 oz confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Beat butter until creamy. Add marshmallow fluff and incorporate into butter. Slowly add sugar and vanilla. Continue beating until light and fluffy.

Alas, we didn’t read the method closely enough and dumped everything into a bowl and set at it with a hand mixer, I think the cream we ended with was a bit heavier and not quite as stiff as it could have been.  Delicious, though!

Here’s a cream recipe we didn’t go with:

1 lb.  confectioners’ sugar
1 c.   Crisco
1 t    vanilla
Dash of salt
1/4 c. boiling water
Whip this all together and it will last about a month

And another one that we did try:

1 cup cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup marshmallow cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar

This last one was Mrs J’s favorite, and seemed to work a tad better:20160825_155025(1600x1200)

Sammich Pr0n – Smoked Pork with Slaw

DSC_2022(1600x1200)Some of that smoked shoulder along with sides of bean and potato salads with tomatoes and cucumbers in vinaigrette and a glass of sweet tea.  Mmm…mm.  That BBQ sauce is a locally made product that has gained some fame in the region.

Tidbits

20160820_165325(1600x1200)Mmm… wings!  These spent the night in a bag with a dry rub,  Toss with a little oil and arrange them on a rack in a tray and cook at 400, turn every 15 minutes.  At the 30 minute mark I turned them again and set a timer for 10 minutes because another 15 seemed like it would be too much.  TaMara just got a convection oven and that reminds me that I almost always use the convection fan when I bake so conventional ovens might need more time or a higher temp.  The wing sauce on these is the basic hot sauce plus butter and a tablespoon or 2 of honey.  20160820_121405(1600x1200)Not to gross you out but I had a small pot with Scotch Bonnet peppers and the other day I was surprised to see that a caterpillar had eaten everything but the bark on the stems, leaving nothing but a skeleton and a few seeds, plus a pile of worm turds.  He had eaten some leaves on an adjoining pepper plant.  I looked high an low for the miscreant with no luck.  I decided to scrap out the pot and when I busted up the root ball I discovered the culprit – he had burrowed in.20160819_084715(1600x1200)Homie!  He’s a habit of begging for some laser dot play every morning, he pops his head up for a second before dashing back to his starting gate, the small house in the cat tree in the background of the photo.  I was waiting for him the other day with my camera phone poised and caught him.  Yes, I turned the coffee cup beforehand, hoping for just this shot.DSC_2016(1600x1200)We’ve taken to eating breakfast for lunch.  These are BELT sammiches less the tomato and lettuce.DSC03691(1600x1200)I wish someone would adopt Susie.  She very affectionate, gets along well in the play group, runs to greet anyone entering the cat’s room, loves getting scritches.  She’s about 6 years old and has been at the shelter for half that time.  Mrs J is perplexed and saddened that no one has taken her home with them.20160819_191640(1600x1200)Ham and cheese on a hoagie roll with lots of chopped lettuce, onions, and sliced peppers in vinaigrette.  These are always good and don’t require any cooking.20160820_130228(1600x1200)We had some wild rice mix leftover.  Add broth, some chicken leftovers, cheese, milk, and a few broccoli florets and you have a delicious soup.  We like our soups rather thick so this has corn starch for the thickening agent, another way to go about getting to the same place would involve a roux started in the soup pot before anything else was added.20160821_114622(1600x1200)Sunday Lunch!  We love those teeny-weeny breakfast sausages.  I have a gob of my green jalapeno jam on the french toast.

Figs!

DSC02956 (1600x1200)Mrs J’s SIL gave us a pair of rooted  fig cuttings last fall.  To survive in our zone they have to be cut back every year and mulched in.  She over wintered these in the basement and planted them in our new garden this spring…20160506_141144(1600x1200)…where the deer or some other critter browsed the leaves.  Cages and chicken wire to the rescue!20160817_102914(1600x1200)They’ve been liking the rain and the heat this summer.  They are making a lot of figs.  We aren’t too sure when they usually ripen or even, for that matter, how to tell when they are ripe.20160817_102931(1600x1200)There seem to be a lot of them coming on so I suppose we will find out.  All I know is that when the sis-in-law brought us the cuttings last October she also brought a bowl of ripe figs.

Chicken Pie

DSC_2012(1600x1200)I nearly ruined this one, I set the oven to pre-heat to 350 but it somehow got bumped up to 425+.  Fortunately I checked it at the 20 minute mark and saw the egg wash starting to burn.  This is with the Kroger ready to go pie crusts.  The bottom crust didn’t quite have enough to cover the rim of the deep dish pan so I tried tucking the top crust in around the edge rather than leave a single layer to burn up.  It seemed to work OK.20160816_123242(1600x1200)The sauce was made with a flour/butter roux with chicken stock added when the roux was cooked through, adding half a cup or so of milk to thin it a little.  It made a tasty gravy.

The Grapes of August

Grapes of August

I went out before work to see if there were tomatoes I needed to bring in (and yes, there were). I decided I should grab the one cluster of grapes that was almost ripe yesterday. Once I was under the grape arbor, it was clear I was going to be there a while. Everywhere I looked there was another fully ripe cluster.

No idea what I’m going to do with them. Probably make juice…



 

Sammich Pr0n – Cheesesteak

20160815_163944(1600x1200)

Tidbits

20160807_150949(1600x1200)I’ve always called these things pink ladies but I assume there are other names for them depending on where you live.  They usually come as a surprise, seemingly showing up overnight.20160809_173126(1600x1200)This sloppy joe sammich got a bit of crunch added with the corn chips, it’s akin to Frito pie in that regard.  I like the way the slaw turned out so much I ordered a salad spinner for the method  the recipe spells out.  It calls for a salt and sugar “cure” that has to be rinsed off before the dressing is added and the excess water needs to be removed.  I’ve been letting it drain onto tea towels.20160811_120157(1600x1200)More BELT sammiches.  I’m frugal so I toasted the heel ends to make this one.  The tomato bushes continue to yield the big slicers that are perfect for them.20160813_104840(1600x1200)Speaking of tomatoes, we juiced a couple of five gallon buckets full of tomatoes and spent the day boiling them down to eventually can 7 quarts of tomato soup.  That vegetable juicer we bought is still paying dividends.DSC_5514(1600x1200)Gabe has found a new toy that is so much better than the other toys in that box.  Mrs J is so much fun!  She plays with him all over the house!gated gabe(1600x1200)Usually these play sessions result in nap time, whether Gabe is sleepy or not.DSC03678 (1600x1200)Moar kittehs!  I don’t have any additional info on either of these.20160811_164117(1600x1200)More smoked pork with some of that slaw from the recipe I linked to above.DSC03681 (1600x1200)I’ll wrap this up with another kitteh.

Mmm… Apple Pie!

20160811_150145(1600x1200)Mrs J made one of her Perfected Crusts for the pie.  We love that plastic mat for working dough.  It works great even upside down!  LOL20160811_150203(1600x1200)Gabe is showing some interest in the prep.  Mrs J is bringing him up right.20160811_150500(1600x1200)He likes apples, or maybe it’s just the cinnamon that has his attention.  It does smell good!20160811_155614(1600x1200)Mmm… apple pie!  We bought a bag of raw sugar that works as a sprinkle atop dessert pies and we really like it.  It has the same size granules as kosher salt.

Tidbits

20160806_104706(1600x1200)Homer is still bonkers for the red bug.  The other kittehs will still notice it, and, maybe, give chase.  Homer, however, begs for it and will misbehave if he is denied his fun.IMG_20160804_134844676(1600x1200)It’s easy to get photos of the boy when he is napping.  On the go – not so much.  He has access to so many toys that are new to him but bring back sweet and sad memories for us.20160807_115834(1600x1200)We have to pace ourselves, ration out these BELT sammiches or we might eat nothing else.  I will have to say that this batch of smoked pork is the best:20160806_165253(1600x1200)That long, slow smoke over peachwood made this sammich.  Slaw was pretty good, too.  Feta crumbles add a lot of depth to the tomatoes, seasoned rice vinegar gives the dish even more.20160806_121950(1600x1200)It’s getting to where I can churn these buns out with my eyes closed.  I can’t tout this King Arthur recipe highly enough.IMG_20160723_203921150(1600x1200)One last pic of Gabe, helping Mrs J watch TV.

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