We ended up with about 24 inches of snow, not counting the impressive drifts. Everything was closed again today while we clean up. As it’s Colorado, it’s already melting and the sidewalks, driveways and patio are already dry. The four-foot drifts/snow piles from shoveling will take a bit more time. But it will be in the sixties by the end of the week.
In less than good news, two of my plum trees lost huge branches, and my 10-15 foot bushes’ health is still to be determined. Most will probably survive.
The big ducks demanded access to the yard, so I shoveled a path and they hung out on the patio, quickly understanding that those snow walls were unscalable. Although Maddie gave it a good try.
Anyway, the weather just cried out for comfort food. So tonight it’s chicken and biscuits. Continue reading
Need to keep everyone out of the kitchen while you finish up dinner prep? Set up a buffet table with a raw vegetable tray and dip, a bowl of nuts (in their shells) along with a couple of nutcrackers and this soup in a slowcooker to keep it warm and that should keep your guests occupied while you cook.
Winter Squash Soup
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3-1/4 pounds butternut or acorn squash, peeled, seeded and cut into large pieces
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 1 carrot, quartered
- 1 celery stalk, quartered
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried sage
- Salt and pepper to taste
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I’ve been watching all those Youtubes of that guy touring Asia as a foodie, going to good places to eat and chowing down. Always he is daubing on a hot condiment of some sort but he’s never far from a dish of chili oil. I’ve looked at some recipes and this is a melding of what I saw that I had some of the parts for. I’m persuaded that every chef or family that makes this stuff as a matter of course has their own recipe.Today, mine starts with 2 heads of garlic, peeled and minced, simmered in a cup of 225° oil for a half hour or so. While that is going, heat another half cup of oil in another small saucepan and add star anise, cinnamon sticks, black peppercorns, sichuan peppercorns, and annatto seeds.I put in the annatto seeds because I wanted the color, they are optional. Heat this at 225° or so for the same half-hour as the garlic. Don’t burn the garlic! You want it to be golden. I hover over mine with a laser guided thermometer gun thing.The three on the left were all grown in containers in the patio garden. I really wanted to get some of those Sichuan peppercorns in the mix, and those Korean crushed red peppers weren’t doing any good just sitting in that container. Reminds me, I have a head of Napa cabbage and I’m all out of kimchi.I added 1 cup of a mix of those dried peppers. Mostly cayenne, some serrano, less habanero than that, and a good representation of the other two. I strained the solids out of the other batch and stirred the nice red oil into the pan with all the rest. I heated it for a few more minutes and then let it cool.I just had some on this fried rice with a fried egg. This stuff is ridiculously good. I added more as the meal went along. Get to a spoonful that didn’t have any red oil on it? Spoon more on! This batch wasn’t that hot, ‘tho I do note that the Sichuan peppercorns did add a little of their famous numbing quality.
This dish is usually made with tenderized chicken breasts, I like the boneless, skinless thighs better. I pounded these a little but not a lot. The prep was typical, though: dredge in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs, Cook in olive oil until golden, then flip. Bake, topped with sauce and cheese and serve. I like a bed of spaghetti that has been tossed in butter and good olive oil with plenty of garlic.
I picked the first batch of cherry tomatoes, probably about a pint and a half. Mrs J looked at the bowl and thought they would go good on a pizza. She was right.
These are more of those naan loaves we bought at the International grocery. They are about 8 inches in diameter and make great little individual pies. I brushed them with garlic infused olive oil, added pieces of sliced provolone, and the sliced tomatoes. They went into a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Add the fresh basil after they come out. Shredded parmesan works well. I use a microplane grater on a small block of hard cheese.
I didn’t feel like going full on Alton Brown on the little bit of ground lamb I had so I just added a ton of garlic, cumin, ginger, and a store bought Greek seasoning powder and fried it up like a basic burger. I very nearly ruined the tzatziki. Never use a stick blender if you think the cukes are not diced finely enough. Just don’t.