2015 - Week 30 Cooking Results

Pizza with Sausage of some kind from Underground Meats (cause I can)

i used the pepperoni. I wasn't sure if there would be enough left, but after cutting it thin (a bit inconsistent, maybe should've used the mandolin). I did make a mistake though. I used olive oil in the dough and it didn't have the same sort of crispness that I've grown to expect.  So vegetable oil is a must clearly. 

Beyond that, the pizza turned out really good. The pepperoni was fantastic.  

Spicy Carrot Sandwiches with Hummus

Delayed until today. Shannon wanted hotdogs on 7/23 and being that I was thinking about having them this past week anyways, but they got pushed out of the cut.  

Last night, I didn't feel like making them, not that it is hard, just wanted a meaty sandwich. So I used some of the lunch meat that I had bought, some prairie breeze, arugula and various condiments. I had mine on some of the not good enough for customers jalapeño and cheddar and Shannon had hers on the Iowa Sourdough. Good things. 

Bloody Mary Burgers

 The Bloody Mary part didn't stand out to much nut it was still a decent combination. 

Tomato & Chorizo Risotto

i didn't have near as much chorizo as the recipe called for. However, it was a really good chorizo (Underground Meats) and I think it really ended up balancing overall. It may have been that conversion to metric. It was a good meal, nevertheless.  

Bean and Ham Torta

Simple, quick and pretty good.  


Blueberry Mousse

this didn't have enough blueberry flavor.  

2015 - Week 29 Cooking Results

Short week due to the family reunion and a late work night for Shannon (scheduled).  While Shannon was working I made pizza dough for Today and then had sausage and cheese for dinner (oh so healthy).

Rotini with Ground Pork and spicy peanut sauce

Sometimes you want the water to boil faster.  As I was prepping the kitchen and then spicy pork peanut sauce, I was still waiting for the water to boil faster.  Do I want an induction burner (?) with my fire?  Yes I do.  Anyways, I turned the peanut sauce down while the pasta cooked.  It was a good meal, it was super easy, and didn't take to long, other then the boiling of the water.

Cheater Chorizo Burgers

Looking for meat in the freezer for this, I noticed I was almost out of ground pork from Crooked Gap farm.  Luckily for me, it was a pickup week, so I picked up another 4 pounds and after this week have 3 left.  So I reduced some of the ingredients here by a third, but not all of them (teaspoons don't do thirds very well).  I didn't have hot paprika on hand, so I used smoked, instead (not that it was a mild smoked, but it was certainly not as hot as some of the hot paprikas I've had).  So it was probably spicier or more herbal then it should've been, but it was still very good.

Sobrasada & Eggs

I saw somewhere on line that this was a common usage for this.  Simple combination (rendered the fat off the Sobrasada first, then added beaten eggs), led to a very good simple dinner.  Served with bagels.

'njuda & Butter Potatoes

Using the rest of the Underground Meats 'njuda, I broke it up into peaces and pan fried it with chopped up butter potatoes.  Cooking it in the wonderful tasting 'njuda rendered fat, then oven finishing.  Good things.  Very good things.

2015 - Week 28 Cooking Results

Blueberry Pancakes

Someone brought blueberries to the market, I bought those blueberries, had them in and on the pancakes, and in cereal a bit later.  Good things.

Sausage Fest!

On a recent trip to Madison for work, I had the opportunity to stop by Underground Meats.  I had recently had their summer sausage at The Cheese Shop of Des Moines, and wanted to go.  So I picked up:  Soppressata, Spuce Goat, Morpolse, Chorizo, Pepperoni,  and Sobrassada, Fairly a cross section of the things they produce.  And we tried it, with some of the Hook's 20 year Cheddar.  

Asian Pork tacos with lime tossed red cabbage

Asian spices, pork, cabbage.  Good things.

Garlic Scape Pasta

Used the scapes in the tacos...pasta skipped.

Separately:  Spicy Carrot Sandwiches x 8 or 9 times

Turned out pretty well with the family, younger kids were skeptical.

2015 - Week 27 Cooking Results

Sunburst Tomatoes, Green Onions, and Garlic Scape Love Ewe spaghetti

This didn't turn out how I thought it would in my mind.  I was imagining some lumps of tomatoes and green onions and covered in some nice smooth fresh sheep milk cheese.  Smooth wasn't the word here, but other then the mouth feel, it tasted pretty good.

Pork Burgers

I put a couple of thin slices of La Quercia Guanciale on one side of the burger to add a bit of salt and flavor to it.  Turned out really well.

Chorizo Taco Salad

om nom nom.

Tart Cherry (something) sauced pork chops

The cherry sauce turned out pretty good, I was a little foggy (my brain has been that way quite a bit lately) at the time so I forgot to put something like port or brandy in it to add to the flavor, but I did add a bit of salt and some Aura Solanales.  I seared the pork (Crooked Gap) then, since they were thick, finished them in the oven, with the potatoes.  I also served it with some of the Elegance salad mix from Cleverley Farms.  Good 4th of July meal.

All Pork Hot dogs

Good as always.

Friday morning I mowed the lawn, then headed down to The Cheese Shop where they were holding their Ham Independence celebration.  Food, beer, vendors.  good things.  I helped Joseph by watching his booth, running for items, and occasionally giving him a break and selling bread in his place.  Kathy Eckhouse (La Quercia) stopped by to buy some bread, and he sold out well before the time was up.  I was good to see Joseph's hot dog buns being used for Brett's sausage creation (fantastic) and hang out with Lois while she sells her goat cheese and Ethan selling the pork and beef.  The surprise of the day was the presence of The Brinery.  After tasting and being a bit stunned, I picked up a couple of jars of types of sauerkraut and some kimchi.  Good stuffs.  It was a fun day

2015 - Week 27 Cooking

  • Sunburst Tomatoes, Green Onions, and Garlic Scape Love Ewe spaghetti
  • Pork Burgers
  • Chorizo Taco Salad
  • Tart Cherry (something) sauced pork chops
  • All Pork Hot dogs

I need some damn freezer shelves or a new/additional freezer.

2015 - Week 25 & 26 Cooking Results

Fettuccine with Agretti, Lemon and Olive Oil, vaguely based on this

The agretti has a nice grassy taste to it.  maybe needed to have a bit less lemon compared to the agretti that I had, but good none the less.

Garlic Scape Pesto Spaghetti

I was going to make this on that Friday, but after getting home from work, then mowing the lawn, I didn't feel like cooking, so Shannon brought home dinner.

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Good things.  Finally broken into the quart of Great River Maple grade B maple syrup.  Pretty good pancakes.  The recipe talked a lot about having fresh whole wheat (mine wasn't) but this still worked, and rose pretty well.

New Potatoes with Italian Sausage (Hobo Packs, sort of)

should've sliced, instead of quartered, took a while (started late too).  Good stuff though.

So the end of week 25 and Most of week 26 was a bit messy.  So we attempted to go to Man of La Mancha on the Brucemore lawn with the Mattas, however the weather did not cooperate in the slightest, so we ended up going to Cobble Hill in Cedar Rapids.  So restaurants in Cedar Rapids have ben generally disappointing, it seems tough to find that nice mix of both reasonable price and having those magical moments of flavors.  Did I have some critiques?  Sure (sometimes you eat everything together and it's magical, but the presentation and/or plating made it near impossible to do so), but it's not often that I walk away from a place thinking I need to replicate that and am willing to work at it to do so.

The take away here is that the French Oak Old Fashioned at Cobble Hill is fantastic and better then any Old Fashioned that I had at The Old Fashioned in Madison or even ones I've made myself.

After trying the desserts, I was upset at my decision of having another French Oak Old Fashioned instead of dessert.

My Madison trip was a bit odd.  Good dinners, ok lunches and...well, generic hotel breakfast.  I graced Graze (very good), The Old Fashioned (good).  Lunches were provided(ish) or a place I could have gone to in Des Moines.  My boss and I did make runs to a liquor store and Underground Meats (squuueeee!) and I may have spent a bit more then I should.  Des Moines needs a butcher shop like Underground Meats.

After getting back I made some butter roasted new potatoes and served them with some Oxfordshire style bangers (Lucky George Farm, Congrats on the heritage pig win at Cochon555).  While mashed potatoes makes sense here, why do that to new potatoes?  The potatoes ended up being a bit crispy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside and paired well with the large black pig meat.

We made our second (?) trip to Krunkwich Ramen house and were very pleased with the results.  Shannon had the ramen version of Mac & Cheese (she liked it) and I had the spicy #99, which I liked and it had a building spice, and we shared the #99 based tots.  All good things.  I cannot express how much I love those eggs that you can add to your ramen.

Tonight we headed up a bit north to go to the Slow Food Dinner  which features many people I know cooking (Including my little brother Joseph) and many farms that I buy food from.  I'm looking forward to it.

We bought a couple of new pieces from the Des Moines Art Festival from Marty Hulsebos.