I mentioned that I needed to make more kimchi.  I like to use Gochujang chili pepper paste for my kimchi.  This is one head of Napa cabbage, chopped, with green onions and matchsticks of daikon radish and carrots, plus the usual other stuff – fish sauce, garlic, ginger, salt, etc.  I’m going to let this one ferment for a week or so.  The last batch went straight to the fridge so it counted as fresh.  I like it either way.


Chicken noodle soup doesn’t need grilled cheese sammiches to make it lunch but I made some anyway.These are chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.  I like to process the oats a tad before mixing them into the cookie dough.  I was showing Mrs J how a new blender gadget works and it absolutely pulverized the oats before she could stop.  I’ll have to do a gadget post on it.I love the sous vide setup.  We have settled on 138° as the preferred setting – pink enough for me and done enough for Mrs J.I sauteed sprouts with fresh sweet corn, cut off the cob, in olive oil and butter to accompany the ribeyes and it worked out just OK.  Didn’t look right, tasted great.This is the result of my first go at a shepherd’s pie.  This one has pork and green gravy with corn and carrots and peas.  I didn’t make quite enough mashed potatoes for a proper top, my pan was a bit too big.  I think I’ll make them as individual pies the next time.This was a quick lunch, a couple of chicken thighs braised in bbq sauce, some potato salad, and kimchi.  Since MrsJ won’t eat the kimchi I’ll have to double up.  We still have a ton of that cabbage and cucumber summer salad.Those cookies make good ice cream sammiches.  I don’t remember what Kroger ice cream flavor is in this but it has crunchy bits and caramel. Moar kimchi!  Told you I was going to double up.  I didn’t make that big of a batch (one head of Napa cabbage) and the smallest daikon radish was still too much so I match sticked it and put it back in a simple pickle of seasoned rice vinegar, salt, and water.  Crunchy and sweet from the rice vinegar!

Wait. What?

Variations on a spicy theme.  Hot dogs topped with hot giardiniera, a side of kimchi, and a wee bowl of tangy, sweet, chilled coleslaw.


20160312_144026[1] (1600x1060)My bun-fu is improving!  It helped that I went with 12 instead of 16 like the last batch.  I went with a different forming method after watching a few Youtubes to get a better idea of how to proceed.  I rolled the dough flat in a roughly 6″ x 4″ rectangle, and then folded it like I was folding a letter to go into an envelope – top third down, bottom third up and over that.  Pinch the seam and ends and lay them on the tray with a bout a 1/2″ gap between so they rise to touch.DSC_5444 (1600x1060)We grew mint is this pot last year, and left it out all winter.  It lasted a long time before the cold weather burnt everything above dirt level.  We noticed new growth so I gave it a haircut the other day.  Mint is tough, we had mint growing wild in Mrs J’s flower garden and it took several years to eradicate.  Last year she told me to plant that nursery seedling as far away from her dirt as I could.20160315_092451 (1600x1060)Kimchi!  There is a Chinese buffet that we hit whenever we are close during meal time that has kimchi on their line.  I usually get some, I like it a lot.  I’ve made it before and had good luck but I made so much it was really getting sour before I could eat it all.  Mrs J refused to help.  This is one head of Napa cabbage, plus the carrots, daikon radish, and the rest.  I adapted this recipe.20160316_132316 (1600x1060)I left it overnight, covered, in the big bowl on a counter to give the fermentation a start and then put it all in this gallon jar to finish in the fridge in the basement.


Primary day in Illinois last Tuesday, this is the little township meeting hall where we cast our votes.  One nice thing about living out in the boonies, there is hardly ever a line.

PICT5658 (1600x1060)Random wildlife!  This is a young buck that has dropped one of its antlers.  They are shed every year but it’s rare to find them in the woods – they are quickly gnawed down by little woodland critters.PICT5692 (1600x1060)One more – at first glance I thought that the bird standing behind the deer was a crow but a second look showed it to be a hawk:PICT5692I’m no expert on bird ID but I think this may be a juvenile red shouldered hawk.  I don’t know for sure why it is standing there at the pond but we often see wood ducks right there, either in the water or ashore looking for the corn Mrs J leaves down there.

French Fries with Bulgogi and Caramelized Kimchi

DSC_5404 [1600x1200]I made kimchi the other day and have been surfing around looking for uses for it.  I saw mention of kimchi fried rice and that took me by a page that mentioned caramelized kimchi.  I made a little dab of that, working it much like I was doing onions, and thought it had real promise so I Googled “caramelized kimchi” and this recipe jumped right out.  That was right up my alley.  I had to make a trip to the store to find a couple of the items mentioned but they were easy to find.  The red chili paste (gochujang) was prominently displayed – I had walked by it, not knowing what it was, a score of times before.  The shichimi was a little more hidden but I found a small bottle.  It’s a Japanese “7 pepper” seasoning.  It really made the spiced mayo pop!DSC_5407 [1600x1200]

Those are my hand cut fries, double cooked..  They were the perfect base for the caramelized kimchi and the marinated beef (bulgogi).  The beef had a great flavor, this will not be the last time I do it this way.  I used a flat iron steak for this but any good cut of steak should be fine.  The all night marinade will help tenderize the meat, and it helps to slice it as thin as possible.DSC_5401 [1600x1200]I remembered, after the fact, that I had bought the cheeses to sprinkle on the dish.  Next time for sure!


DSC_5368 [1600x1200]We eat pretty often at a Chinese buffet in a nearby town and the last few times in there I’ve taken a little of what I decided had to be kimchi.  The last time over I went back for seconds.  This morning we went to the produce market we like that is just down the road from that Asian grocery and when I saw the Napa cabbages I remembered the Youtube I had watched a few weeks ago wherein a nice Korean lady was kind enough to show us how to do her easy recipe kimchi.  We found the rest of the ingredients easily enough and I made a big batch today.DSC_5365 [1600x1200]This is the chopped cabbage, salted down and resting in a nice big plastic tub that proved very useful.  This is two big heads, each weighing 5 pounds or so.  The instructions say to turn the cabbage over every half hour for an hour and a half.DSC_5366 [1600x1200]I julienned several carrots and one of those big daikon radishes, chopped several green onions and added the veggies with 1-1/2 cups of crushed red peppers to the rice flour porridge, garlic, ginger root, fish sauce,  and onion mixture that was prepared in a food processor.  The recipe called for leeks but I forgot those. It also mentioned squid, I remembered that but decided to opt out.  The cup and a half of red pepper wasn’t too much for Mrs J but it was verging on it.DSC_5367 [1600x1200]We sampled it freshly made and it was good.  I’ll keep most of it in the fridge rather than let it ferment more quickly at room temperature.  I will keep out a little bit just to see how fast it matures.