Category Archives: Recipes
Amazon tempted me with one of their lightning deals on some silicone muffin trays. I’m pretty easy. These corn muffins from smittenkitchen looked like a good way to test drive them.The method was interesting, 1/2 cup of cornmeal was simmered in the milk until it started to look like porridge, then cooled slightly in a bowl in which the rest of the ingredients were added in their turn. The cup of sour cream was a nice touch.Two eggs were the last of the wet ingredients added before the dry mixture was folded in.The resulting batter was pretty stiff. The cookie dough scoop worked great in portioning between the dozen cups. It wasn’t the perfect size so I did have to top off the cups by eye.I’m not sure how long these were in because I forgot to set a timer. These passed the toothpick test.Mmm… red beans cooked with a smoked ham hock – a perfect way to enjoy these perfect corn muffins.
A little breakfast pr0n to start. The patty is from that batch of homemade garlic pepper recipe sausage.This is an older picture from a meal we had a couple of weeks ago. Not sure if I have used it so here it is. I bought a batch of purple potatoes and mixed them in with fingerlings and a cubed sweet potato. The pork tenderloin was done sous vide and then seared in a hot pan just before plating. There is a pan sauce made from red wine and the pan juices. I reached for the white but it wasn’t open so the red went in.Gumbo! This one has andouille, chicken, and shrimp.A couple of pineapple upside down cakes. There was a little pineapple left over from Mrs J’s carrot cake, and we finally used up the last of the maraschino cherries that have been lurking in a dark corner of the fridge for ages. Not the prettiest cakes ever but they tasted great. There is one small slice left but it will not last out the day.Here’s Ollie! He’s been mixing about with the other kittehs and we think he’s fitting in quite well. He and Bitsy spent the night chasing up and down the hallway.I dug one of the rib roasts out of the freezer. It was one of those the market had on sale for the holidays. It was oddly cut, the two end ribs were sliced down the middle, making the piece about 1-1/2 inches altogether. I promised Mrs J that I would turn out the next steak medium done and so set the water bath temp to 140. When it came out I sliced it in half and seared the pieces in a hot pan. The pan sauce was made of butter and the same red wine that I used on that pork tenderloin. The potatoes were rubbed with olive oil and generously salted, then baked in a 350 oven for an hour.Mrs J left for an appointment this morning. Gabe waited by the door for her return. He misses his dog mama every time she goes away.That garlic pepper sausage makes pretty good chili.I’ll close with this salad. It’s a bagged salad topped with a deli made Greek salad with a little extra feta.
Cinnamon bread with raisins because that’s how I remember it when I smell the aromas and close my eyes go back to being 6 years old and shouting “Me Me Me” when my mama asked “who wants cinnamon toast”.Spreading melted butter on the rolled out dough makes it hard to seal the seams but I don’t care.That plastic mat is just the handiest thing but don’t let them tell you nothing will stick to it. Use plenty of flour when you roll the dough out. I have a silicone baking mat under it ti keep it from sliding around.These aren’t the prettiest loaves. I went with this bread machine recipe for these and it seems to work ok.You can’t have too much cinnamon.
Made the tomato soup from a big can of those San Marzano tomatoes. I found a couple of 280z. cans in the bargain basket at Kroger a while back and this last one sat in the cupboard till I had this flash of inspiration.
Mince a carrot and half an onion and sweat them down in butter in a sauce pan. Sprinkle a bit of flour on the veggies and stir for a minute, then add chicken stock and a can of tomatoes. Season with celery salt, a pinch each of nutmeg, ground cloves, and black pepper and bring to a simmer for half an hour or so. Let cool a bit, then puree in a blender or with a stick blender. I like the stick blender because it’s easier to clean up. Add more chicken stock if it looks too thick. Some folks like to add cream right before serving but I never did eat it that way.
I ground a pork butt that yielded 8lbs of meat and added 2lbs of store bought to make it an even 10lbs because most of the recipes I looked at were for 5 or 10 pounds. Also, the store varieties are heavier on fat and I thought that would bring the lean/fat ratio of my mix closer to ideal. Sausage needs a lot of fat, too lean and it will get tough when fried.I went with a combination of recipes, this garlic and pepper recipe looked good, and I knew I wanted sage in mine so I looked at the breakfast sausage recipes and ended up going with sage, thyme, and rosemary. My patio chives have gasped their last, I got some but nowhere near enough so some chopped green onions went into the mix.
I bagged the sausage in one big zip lock and let it rest in the fridge for a couple of days to meld all the seasonings. You can really get your OCD working hard when you weigh portions out on a digital scale for freezing. If it’s 1: 0.1 I won’t sleep well, thinking about how wrong it is.I was able to bag and roll 9 portions of exactly a pound each, the last bit was just zipped up in a bag for today’s lunch. These 9 went to the freezer.
All I know about sourdough bread making I learned here. I think it turned out OK, but the crust is very chewy and is a challenge that is best met by using it to dip in stew broth or something else. I may try a french toast, letting the bread soak in the eggs mixture long enough to soften.The different patterns on the loaves are due to two different floured towels used in the long resting stage just prior to baking. These were baked in the ginormous enameled cast iron Dutch oven, last used for these short ribs.
I tried to slash a nice slit in the loaf but was leery of burning myself on the pre-heated 500 degree cast iron. I may get one of those specialty tools that uses an old-timey razor blade, called a lame. It sure is pretty! I think the next time I will go with a shorter bake time, that crust is pretty and all, but damn!
Moar tacos! That taco rack is pretty handy, I’ve been brushing oil onto the tortillas and placing them like so and then popping them into a 350 oven with the beans, meat, and cheese. Warm the tortillas and the fillings in the microwave first because five minutes in the toaster oven is only enough to melt the cheese and give the tortillas a light toasting. They are easy to dress with the cold toppings while still in the rack before they go to your plate.Top of the world, Ma! Christmas tree? Haven’t seen it. Ginger Boy gets his wildcat on during a walk past the brush pile.Mrs J’s favorite cake is carrot cake. She mostly begins them with a box mix and is content to add extras like crushed pineapple, fresh grated carrots, nuts, and the like but went with a scratch build this time. She assembled hers in two 8 inch round pans because that’s what we have. The canned icing looked so lame she decided to help it out:I think I read somewhere that they’ve fiddled with the icing recipe to eliminate some unhealthy ingredient. Maybe this particular brand is just not very good. Dunno. This one has chopped pecans and toasted coconut to make it more appealing. The cake tasted great!Took another run at a puff pastry pot pie. The sheet of dough needed only minor trimming to fit. Worked well, cooked it in the toaster oven at 375 for about 30 minutes. Lost track of the total time because I kept adding minutes when it was looking like the top wasn’t brown enough yet.
I gave the dough an egg wash on both sides before covering the dish for baking. Alton Brown mentioned this in one of his recipes, I think to help keep the gravy from soaking through the dough and not letting it puff. It worked, I guess. Sorta. Maybe not! Be sure to sprinkle the top with kosher salt before baking.
Here is part two of the dessert tray – these are all gluten-free sweets. Easy to make, never know they are anything different from the floured desserts. I’ll post a photo of the full dessert tray later.
Picking up a friend from the airport tonight – lots of delays have made for a long day. I’ll be packing a few of these cookies and hot tea for the drive home.
First up, I made a batch of these. They are melt in your mouth and so chocolaty. I love the dark chocolate cocoa powder, makes them not-too sweet.
Then I made a batch of these (pictured at top). So easy – I made a double batch, hoping they last until Christmas Eve. Just in case, there will be the traditional Ice Cream Sundae Bar to back up all the cookies.
Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 egg
Cream ingredients together and drop by spoonful onto a baking sheet. Dip a fork in sugar and press down dough. Bake at 300 degree F for 10-13 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool ON the baking sheet.
I added chocolate chips to a few after I flattened them on the baking sheet. They were good, but it did make the cookie more fragile and they broke apart as I transferred them to the plate. So second batch got peanuts instead.
For Dessert Tray pt. 1, click here.