20161110_1937411600x1200I’ll start this off with a pie than should have been great but ended up only fair to poor.  It’s a Brown Butter Apple Pie with a Cheddar Crust.  Sound great!  It turned out to be a lot of effort for a disappointing result.  Mrs J swears that she will not try this one again.20161108_1511411600x1200This was a pretty good pie.  Somehow I got the water/flour ratio wrong on the dough – it ended up too wet and sticky.  I kneaded in more flour but gave up and poured it onto the pan.  It got an Awesome Sauce base for the mozzarella, onions, mushrooms, sausage, and ham.20161106_1055061600x1200I broke out my slicer for that big sous vide tenderloin I did, and also sliced some ham.  Most of it I vac-sealed and froze but kept some out for my midwestern version of the classic Cubano sammich.20161031_1357191600x1200More chili!  This is about half chorizo and half ground beef. I don’t usually put sour cream on mine but many people do.  I can take it or leave it.  It does make for a pretty picture, so there’s that.20161103_1701261600x1200I used the slow cook feature on the toaster oven, they got 2 hours on high and some more time on the low setting because we weren’t quite ready to eat.  I used a flat lid for the shallow pan and it touched the chicken quarter, that’s the black patch on the thigh.  The rest was quite tender, the leg came off as I plated it.20161105_1206141600x1200Here’s another sammich made with the pork and ham I sliced.  I need to make more slaw, bake more beans, and make another potato salad.20161109_1619231600x1200Classic spaghetti with meat sauce.  When the pasta drained after cooking, instead of spooning some sauce into it I used half a stick of butter that I zapped in the microwave with several cloves of garlic.  Add a little Parmesan and you can eat it just like that but I like a nice meat sauce.  Mrs J isn’t fond of mushrooms so I sauteed a few to top my plate with as a garnish instead of mixing them into the sauce.


20160904_122601(1600x1200)We had enough chicken and sauce left over from those sour cream enchiladas for another go.  The side dish is a black bean and corn salad with onions, peppers, and diced celery in a cumin vinaigrette.IMG_20160830_122526604(1600x1200)Here’s that chihuahua mix before she got after the chicken in that bag before her.  Cute as a button!20160901_164720(1600x1200)Roast/BBQ chicken quarter with rosemary garlic potato wedges and an ear of grilled corn.  The local Kroger has been offering seasoned leg quarters off and on for a while now and pricing them decently.  I generally buy some to cook right away and extra to freeze for later.DSC03743 (1600x1200)This is Spots, we’ve put up her picture here before – she’s about 2 years old and is a sweetheart.  Mrs J reminds me that St Francis has lowered their adoption fees during “Happy Cat Month” to $25 and that includes vaccinations, chipping, and spaying/neutering.  They also test for FeLV/FIV.20160905_080654(1600x1200)That new toaster oven has slo-cook settings that work pretty much like on a dedicated crock-pot style cooker.  I have it set on low, it is showing the default time setting of 6 hours.  I had a brisket in the smoker overnight and I’m finishing it here.  It’s wrapped in foil inside the pan.IMG_20160814_132009849(1600x1200)Moar Gabe!  Here he is, studiously ignoring Bea Kitteh.  We’ve since ripped out everything in the garden except for the figs.  Still waiting for them to ripen.IMG_20160827_125640142(1600x1200) Here’s Bea again, luxuriating in catnip that Mrs J was cleaning up in the front from under the little dogwood tree.

Mmm…pizza for breakfast!

There are a few things that make pizza for breakfast feasible, chief among them is this toaster oven.  I’ll use this as an occasion to add to that first gadget post.  I love this thing.  Realized this week that it will hold my 9″ cast iron skillet with the door closed.  I bought a 12″ non-stick coated pizza pan for it that works great.  There are some minor quibbles I will note for the record:  The chimes that say “I’m done” aren’t nearly loud enough.  Some of the programmed settings allow for a preheat-this period is followed by a countdown of the time programmed into the toaster setting.  With the soft chime at the end of the preheat I miss the beginning of the timed period pretty often and have to restart.  Of course the oven has reached temp by then and the preheat is short.  Minor quibbles.

The other main thing that makes breakfast pizza fast and fun is the package of pitas in the freezer.  For this pizza I used one of the pitas I bought yesterday at my favorite grocery store, the Asian place in the next town over.  I could have used one of my own.  Since that post I have learned to poke holes all over the rolled dough to keep it from ballooning-something you don’t want for a pizza crust.  Also don’t let pitas you intend for pizza to brown as much as those, just a few minutes on a side to stiffen them a bit, they will brown later as you bake the pizza.

Gadget Post


Our last toaster oven lost its ability to toast and became redundant with the recent purchase shown above.  We spent more this time on the replacement and expected to get more for it and we were rewarded with a very competent device.  It’s a Breville, sized for 4 slices.  As depicted in the photo it has room enough to take the 10″ frying pan with room to spare.  We bought a 12″ round nonstick pizza pan that fits it just right.

It does all we ask of it, makes good toast.  The controls are well laid out and intuitive.  There are settings galore.  Some initial experimentation allowed the finish on the toast to meet our desires and it remembered the settings the next time.

Plenty of reviews at the link above, and a good description of all the features.  I won’t go into any of that here.  I’ll just say that it looks and feels well put together with quality materials and gets a thumbs up from both of us.