Category Archives: Fun with Food


It did snow a bit but it’s been melting off the hard surfaces pretty quickly.  The forecast mentioned lows in the teens for tonight but I think they are backing off that now.  Definitely a hard freeze, though.  Some of the local big parking lot stores had plants set out already, I hope they can get them indoors.I made another pineapple upside down cake late last night.  The pineapple bits were described on the can as tidbits so you know I had to include it in this post.Yesterday was still warm enough to tend the grill in shirtsleeves.  I got a pretty good scald on the burgers.  They say it won’t get back to at least 60 until next Saturday.I set the machine to the dough cycle and started it up, it beeped done but when I went to empty the dough it was half undone – a small ball of finished looking dough along side of a mess of flour.  It looked as if one of the two kneading arms within the machine wasn’t working.  I mushed the dough ball around and restarted it and it seemed to be working fine, the loose flour incorporated itself into the dough ball and everything turned out well.  I hope it was just a mystery hiccup that remains a mystery.Tuna salad with hardboiled eggs.  It also has sweet pickle relish, mayo, chopped celery and a bit of minced onion.  I like green bell peppers in there, too, but didn’t have any.This is a no-fuss dinner.  It’s a beer-butt roasted chicken with nothing more than granulated garlic dusted all over it, along side a baked potato, and steamed broccoli.  Mrs J and I have an accommodation in re dark meat and white meat.  She will not eat the breast so it’s mine by default.Mmm… sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit with strawberry jam.  I made a minor change to the Big Daddy Biscuit recipe:  I added a half teaspoon of baking soda to go with the tablespoon of baking powder.  A TV chef making biscuits made a point of doing so with his recipe and they did puff up very well for me today.


Getting Comfortable

20170305_174501-1600x1200Chili Mac

Puff Pastry Pot Pie Pr0n



That Time of the Year

dsc_2229-1600x1200I rolled out my gas grill for the season and grilled a couple of burgers to get into the swing of it.  Gah!  It won’t be long until the grass it high enough that I can’t put off mowing.  I wonder what this season will bring.  Last year it rained so much that the grass was always high and wet – I smoked the PTO belts that drive the blades.  Hate it when that happens.

Fried Mushrooms

dsc_2221-1600x1200I had a few button mushrooms to use up and we haven’t had any of these for a long time.  They are batter dipped and then dredged in panko.  The batter is flour and water with a beaten egg and a teaspoon of baking powder, seasoned with ground red pepper and salt.

The dip is mostly ketchup with a squirt of bbq sauce and a tablespoon or so of sweet soy sauce.  An option would be to add a dollop of chili garlic paste.

Makin’ Bacon

I have a pal who makes his own bacon, he has built a smoke house and everything.  His bacon uses the traditional recipe using sodium nitrite.  I’ve been wanting to make my own, settling on the recipe Dan Barber posted at  He uses a complex rub that I had all the parts to except the ground coriander.  I added more coriander seed to help with the lack.20170227_083349-1600x1200Here it is after several days in the fridge.  I flipped it over a few times while it cured.20170227_084838-1600x1200With a little trimming it fit in this hotel pan.  I covered it with chicken stock, put the lid on, and left it in a 200-ish oven all day.20170228_105630-1600x1200After an all nighter in the fridge to firm it up for my slicer it was turned into all this.  I’ll keep one of those in a ziplock bag while we binge on bacon.  The other two are in the freezer, they’ll get vacuum bagged when they are solid.20170228_102706-1600x1200Let’s try some out!  Looks good so far.  20170228_103742-1600x1200Yay!  It crisped up well, and the skin wasn’t a problem.  I worried a little about that but I figured if the porchetta skin crisped up while frying this skin would, too.  I think the next one I do will get the sodium nitrite.  I’m sure it will add to the flavor and color.

Not Random Meatball Sammich

20170225_115045-1600x1200The last two meatballs fit, just barely, on one of my long buns.  I call it a long bun not because it is long but because it is not round.  Makes perfect sense to me.

Spaghetti Carbonara

dsc_2207-1600x1200I used too many eggs for the amount of pasta I had* but I had no complaints from Gabe, our plate licker.  Some slices of the porchetta went into this one, it works well enough but I think I actually prefer just plain bacon.

*2 whole eggs plus 2 yolks for 7oz dry spaghetti


20170223_111706-1600x1200Breakfast pr0n!  Not what we had for breakfast, actually.  More a breakfast for lunch.  I don’t eat breakfast and Mrs J contents herself with a bagel but we both love waffles.  The bacon is thin sliced porchetta.20170224_092427-1600x1200I didn’t dump all the patio herbs, I wanted to see if they would come back in the spring.  The chives are doing great but the sage next to it still looks dead.  The bare twigs at the far right are rosemary that I am still hoping will show new growth but nothing yet.20170224_092346-1600x1200The front gardens are just barely showing some color – the scilla can be counted on for a touch of early blue.  The day lilies are greening, as are the daffodils and sedum.dsc_2191-1600x1200More meatballs!  I made several, there are two left.  Not enough for a proper sammich but I guess I can do a couple of meatball sliders.20170223_115130-1600x1200These were out for a last rise before baking.  I busied myself about making that breakfast-for-lunch while they were out and they really puffed up before I could get them into the oven.dsc_5597-1600x1200Here’s Ollie, watching me compose this post.  He’s already made himself at home.  He is fitting in rather well with no apparent animosities developing with any of the other cats.dsc03901-1600x1200One of the shelter cats.  The eyes in the original picture were highlighted by a stray beam that prompted me to play that up with a few tweaks.